October Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our October anniversary celebrants are always hard at work to provide the best possible member service.

One employee not highlighted below is our CEO Robert Blumberg who celebrated 10 years of leading the charge for WCU on October 1st. Look for a blog from Robert later in the month looking back at the last 10 years, and forward towards the next 10.

Sharon Borgardt – 23 Years
What is your current position?
As the Chief Human Resources Officer I supervise the HR Department; serve on our executive team; oversee hiring, employee benefits, payroll and legal compliance regarding employment; and assist all employees to ensure their needs are heard and addressed. Our employees are what sets Wauna apart. Making sure we hire the right people to serve our members—and making sure those employees have what they need to succeed—is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.  I especially appreciate Wauna’s dedication to providing growth opportunities for our employees.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have it every day. The most gratifying part of my job is helping our employees.  This includes ensuring that our employees have great benefits.  One benefit that means a lot to our employees is our Sick Leave Donation program that allows employees to donate Sick Time to an employee in need, who has exhausted their Sick Time due to a serious medical condition.  I love being able to inform an employee in need that their generous and caring co-workers donated enough Sick Time to cover their absence.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time and traveling with family and friends.  Between us, my husband Ron and I we have great 5 kids and 4 wonderful granddaughters.  We rescue Great Pyrenees dogs; our current fur babies are Bob and Mica, and they are very special to us, too.  I have lived in Astoria for 23 years and it’s been amazing to experience the growth of the area. We love all the arts and really delicious food options in the area, while still being so close to nature!

Sharon and her husband Ron with dogs

Sara Kulp – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I’m currently the training manager, my position is to train our new internal members and provide ongoing training for the credit union. WCU really believes in giving all team members the foundation to build their career, which makes this an incredibly rewarding position. I also support oncoming projects and help implement the training process. Previously I was the branch manager for our St. Helens branch. It was tough to give up the face-to-face interactions with our members, but great to know I’m helping teach people how to give the same friendly service I would.

Sara in Hawaii

What is your favorite WCU memory?
This past year I had the opportunity to put together and host our in-service day. It’s a day where all if the employees get together and kick off the year, talk about successes and what will be happening in the next year. We all had a blast and I will never forget the energy and excitement that we had that day.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel, read and spend time with family. I have three sons. One graduated and is now proudly serving our country in the Air Force, the other two are still at home and keep us so busy with all their activities.

Kailynn Daum – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I am a Training Specialist. I get to use my experience from being on the front line to teach our internal members (employees) in a variety of areas to help them better serve our members. I love that Wauna is committed to education and opportunity, and that I get to be a big part of that.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory with the credit union is becoming certified and facilitating our most recent TMA seminar for 28 of our newest employees. The Member Advantage is the service philosophy that we have adopted here at Wauna, and just one of the ways that the Credit Union invests in our employees success. I love being a part of our employees growth and development and it was so rewarding to see the Training Team’s hard work pay off.

Kailynn in Greece

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I love to travel and experience the world with my husband, Alex. When we’re not out exploring, I enjoy practicing yoga, kayaking, spending time with friends and family, and being a dog mom to my three pups.

Samantha Wiser – 5 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC III in the St. Helens branch. I am proud that I get to assist the members in my community with their financial goals. It is very rewarding for me to see our members achieve their dreams!Sam taking a selfie

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I like to have fun while helping our members and teammates. My fun memories are all about laughing and making coming into the credit union a good time, instead of a chore.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
If I’m not at work I’m outside playing. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or rafting I like being active. My favorite thing to do is Kayak the sloughs on the Columbia and explore Sand Island. I’ve been going there since I was a kid!

Marti Gwin – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m the internal auditor at Wauna. My job is to look at processes within the credit union to evaluate if we are effectively managing risk. My goal is to provide feedback that gives insight to managers about their areas of operation in a way that enhances and adds value to what they do. I like to say I’m an extra pair of eyes to help us be the best we can be and do the best that we can do for our members. Prior to being an employee, I was a member of Wauna’s Board of Directors. The Board works with our CEO Robert and the rest of the Leadership Team to set the roadmap for the credit union. It really is a rewarding experience.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I recently had the opportunity to help at the Wauna booth during one of the 13 Nights on the River concerts in St. Helens. It was fun hanging out with Josh and Stephanie from the Marketing Team while listening to great music and greeting people as they wandered by the booth. The Wauna kazoos where a big hit with everyone and we even gave a few kazoo lessons!

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to spend time with other people. Hanging out  with my husband of 31 years is a favorite past time, I also teach a weekly women’s Bible study at my house, regularly visit a few older friends who can’t get out any more, and I try to make arrangements to meet a friend for coffee or a meal every week. People energize me!

Marti and the Ops team

Others

  • Diana Phipps – 4 Years
  • Summer Douglas – 1 Year

The Equifax Breach – A Comprehensive Guide Part 2

There’s been a lot of news about the Equifax breach recently. We put together a guide to help our members understand what happened, and how to protect your information.

Our CEO Robert Blumberg has written a letter on the steps we are taking to ensure our members are protected. You can find the letter at https://waunafcu.org/blog/robert_blumberg_letter/. 

Who is Equifax?

Equifax Logo

Equifax is a consumer reporting agency and one of the three largest credit bureaus in the nation. These bureaus retain the aggregate credit information of some 800 million American and Canadian citizens, including more than 88 million businesses internationally.

Why would they have my sensitive information?

Credit card companies, banks, credit unions, retailers, auto lenders, and mortgage lenders all report details of your credit activity to credit reporting agencies. Whenever you open an account extending credit, that company or entity reports to these bureaus.

What happened?

In May of 2017, hackers trolling the internet discovered an Equifax server using outdated Apache software vulnerable to attack.

What was stolen and how many were compromised?

Social Security numbers, birth-dates, addresses, names, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and other documents. This breach is affecting more than 143 million US-based users.

Have I been breached?

Many of our members are wondering if they are affected, and if so what to do. The FTC has provided some guidance, but we have included some main steps below. If you do find that you were included, don’t worry, but protect yourself and take advantage of the Equifax services for those whose information was made available.

What do I do?

Guarding your personal information is a huge priority for Wauna Credit Union. By using advanced fraud-monitoring technology, our committed staff is watching your accounts. Although in the wake of the Equifax breach, thieves may be more prevalent in their attempts to steal your information. They might try one or many of the following:

  • Fraudsters are sourcing phone numbers to contact the Credit Union (caller IDs are displaying member’s actual phone number).
  • Impostors are saying they are members. They are providing accurate information when we ask questions to ID them.
  • Placing fake travel notifications. Fraudsters are then using cards outside of our members’ normal usage areas.

We understand how overwhelming identity theft can be. But there are ways to protect yourself, including steps you can take right now.

1. First of all, finding out if your data has been exposed is where you need to start. You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax’s website*.
*As of 09/29/2017 this service has been listed as “temporarily unavailable”. Continue to check regularly as Equifax catches up to mass inquiries.

2. Whether or not you’ve been compromised, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for year of free credit monitoring and other services**. The site has provided a date when you can come back to enroll.
**Equifax has confirmed people who enroll in the credit monitoring program as a result of the breach would not waive their right to class action.

3. Using strong passwords is helpful. Also important is being aware of the information you provide when transferring secure information.

4. Reviewing your free credit reports is essential. Get started here.

5. Monitoring your accounts for unusual activity is key! Accounts on your credit reports that you didn’t open, or credit inquiries from entities you’ve never contacted are red flags. If you find evidence of fraud, let us and/or the appropriate financial institution know right away.

6. Open a “My Social Security account”, preventing bad guys from creating accounts in your name.

7. In addition, consider placing a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze makes it more difficult for a thief to open an account in your name. A credit freeze will not stop a thief from changing your accounts.

8. Setting a fraud alert. This requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account, or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not stop a lender from opening credit in your name. Yet it does require lenders to take additional steps in verifying your identity. Better to be safe than sorry.

9. In the event that your identity has been compromised, file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.

10. Because of increasing attacks, some people are theorizing that we will see an increase in tax return fraud. If possible, file taxes early this year.

Also, be vigilant in watching accounts you have outside of the Credit Union and don’t click on suspicious links or open attachments. Additionally, do not respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls that are soliciting your information — no matter who the caller is claiming to be.

In the meantime, Wauna Credit Union is working around the clock to safeguard your finances. We are here to answer questions and address concerns.

For a list of FAQs regarding the breach, please visit https://goo.gl/tGWzP2, and as always, we are here if you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss.

A Letter from CEO Robert Blumberg on Data Security

In the wake of the Equifax breach, fraudsters may be even more prevalent in their attempts to steal your information. While this can be a very scary and unsure time, there are ways to protect yourself against potential fraud, including steps you can take right now.

Our staff is well-trained in sniffing out potential thieves and we are dedicated to the security of your finances, but you too need to be vigilant in protecting yourself and any other accounts you may have outside of the Credit Union.

Don’t click on web-links if they appear suspicious; don’t open attachments; and don’t respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls that are asking for your information — regardless of who the caller or sender is claiming to be.

Monitor your transactions daily and report irregular activity to us or to the card issuer, which you can do by dialing the 800 number on the back of your card. Update your code word, ensure we have your driver’s license on file, and change your passwords and PIN numbers. We also urge you to leverage the security alert services that Wauna Credit Union offers. Learn more by visiting our website at www.waunafcu.org.

In the meantime, rest assured that we are working around the clock to safeguard your personal information, and are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Robert Blumberg Signature

Robert Blumberg
CEO & President
Wauna Credit Union

Wauna Credit Union In the News

We’ve been super busy at WCU over the last three months. From promotions like our Adopt-a-Teacher program, to (ceremonially) breaking ground on our new branch in Forest Grove and dedicated the stage in St. Helens, we’ve gotten a lot of attention from the press recognizing our work for our members. We’ve highlighted them below.

Tri-City Insurance becomes part of Wauna Credit Union (The Chronicle)
Wauna Credit Union recently acquired the agency in a merger deal, which came right before the retirement of longtime owner and founder Glenda Worthington. The insurance company is now owned and operated under Wauna Services, LLC. Aside from non-members who want insurance services, Smiley said that the acquisition will also help give credit union members more options for insurance services. She added that in terms of auto loans and home ownership options, the services go “hand-in-hand.”

Wauna Credit Union announces Adopt-A-Teacher contest (The Chronicle)
As the school year begins, Wauna Credit Union proudly supports the teachers in the communities it represents. To help area teachers, who often have to dig into their own pockets to provide supplies for the classroom, the credit union is hosting an “Adopt-A-Teacher” contest during the month of September, awarding $500 to the winning educator.

‘Adopt-A-Teacher’ contest will net winner $500 (The Daily Astorian)
To help area teachers, who often have to dig into their own pockets to provide supplies for the classroom, Wauna Credit Union is hosting an “Adopt-A-Teacher” contest in September, and awarding $500 to the winning educator. Community members are encouraged to post a video on WCU’s Facebook page explaining why their favorite teacher deserves to win. The entry with the most votes as measured by Facebook “reactions” wins the grand prize.

Health & Safety Fair: Community Collaboration (The Chief)
Many vendors and presenters lined up tables throughout the Clatskanie Middle/High School cafeteria, entertaining and feeding more than 200 people at the Health and Safety Fair on Sept. 23. Event organizers included representatives from Columbia County United Way, Clatskanie School District, Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection District, Wauna Federal Credit Union, and Clatskanie PUD.

Credit union breaks ground on long-vacant FG lot (Forest Grove NewsTime)
Forest Grove city leaders and Wauna Federal Credit Union representatives held a groundbreaking ceremony at the lot Thursday, Sept. 21. “To have one of the blank spots in our community filled with a building a year from now — that’ll be tremendously beneficial to Forest Grove,” said Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce Director Howard Sullivan. “Forest Grove will have a different look and feel now as people come into town.”

Jobs at WCU – Careers With Growth

Wauna Credit Union has been growing like crazy. That growth, and our belief in promoting from within, means we have a bunch of new jobs throughout Clatsop County and Columbia County.

If you thrive on helping others, consider a career at Wauna Credit Union! Our employees are proud of our “people helping people” philosophy. They work hard to make a difference for others through Wauna CU’s mission and vision. Jobs at WCU are career opportunities in a growing credit union that believes in serving members.

Oregon Business Magazine even recognized us as a “Top 100 Nonprofit” to work for in Oregon.

Oregon Business 100 Best nonprofits to work for in Oregon 2015 Oregon Business 100 Best green workplaces in Oregon 2016

We put together a video to highlight what working for WCU is all about.

A more detailed listing of all job openings can always be found on our Careers Page: https://waunafcu.org/about/careers.shtml

If you’d like to see all of our current openings, please visit our website https://secure2.saashr.com/ta/WFCUG16.jobs?ShowAllOpenings 

 

September Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our September anniversaries work in a variety of departments at WCU.

Audrey McTague – 4 years
What is your current position?
I’m currently a Lending Support Specialist II, but I’ve worn a few different hats in my time at the credit union. I’m an underwriter/lending admin for our consumer loans and our mortgages.  Our members are the auto, RV, and toy dealers and branches.  If you have a loan question, call lending admin.  One of the things that makes Wauna great is we look for ways to do loans and not decline them.  We’re experts in the credit union’s offerings. Sometimes members come in asking for one thing, and we’re able to recommend a product that will help them even more.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory is back when I was a Member Service Officer, when an older member came in after her husband died and thought she was going to have to give her car back because it wasn’t in her name and didn’t know what she was going to do.  We were able to help her and she was in tears of joy, beside herself and was so glad she came to talk to us.  She was very sweet and brought us homemade treats at Christmas time.Audrey McTeague

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, i’m home doing gardening, reading a book or visiting family.  I love doing all three.

Laura Lovegren – 2 Years
What is your current position?
As of October 1st I am the Financial Center Manager for the Clatskanie Branch. Prior to that I was an ETF Clerk. As the FCM, I make sure that everything is running smoothly, so we can provide our members with the care they have come to expect from WCU. Whether that’s helping a member with a financial issue, coaching the great group of Member Consultants become leaders, or simply listening to members tell me stories about what is important to them. I grew up in Clatskanie, and this branch has always been an important part of the community, as well as are headqLaura with the teamuarters. It’s an honor to work here.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are so many great memories over the years, but my favorite memory just happened. It’s starting my role as the Clatskanie Financial Center Manager. I’m excited to set new goals for our branch, and help serve the community.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and four dogs, clam digging. Growing up here really led me to enjoying all the community has to offer.

Hannah Coffey – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant at the Astoria Safeway Branch. My job is to help members with their day to day transactions, as well as help them get set up with new accounts, loans, and any other needs they may have. Working at the Safeway Branch is great because I get to see so many members of the community. I always like to remind them to add milk to their grocery list.Hannah

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory at WCU so far was LSI training. The two day training began about a month after I started. At the time, all of the information was a little over my head, but it made me excited to work here. Everyone came together and turned a long two days into something fun and exciting. I love working for a company that strives to keep not only it’s members happy, but it’s employees as well.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, you can find me outside! I enjoy activities like fishing, hunting, camping, – and most of all – hiking. I’m always looking for new places to explore, especially places that my dog can enjoy too.

Others

  • Danea Passmore – 12 Years
  • Dawn Miller – 4 Years
  • Ian Wiggins – 3 Years
  • Brittany Warren – 2 Years
  • Lidia Sanchez – 1 Year

Call for Nominations for Board of Directors

The thing that sets a credit union apart from other financial institutions is that we are governed by our members, not our shareholders. That means each year we elect a Board of Directors from our membership. Today Wauna Credit Union is announcing it’s annual Call for Nominations for candidates for the 2018 elections for its member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Elected officials help to set the direction and policies for our member-owned, member-directed financial institution.

Download the application here.

Qualifying candidates must be a current Wauna CU member, at least 18 years of age, their membership shall be in good standing, and any potential conflict of interest does not exist, such as a close personal relationship with a Wauna CU official orWauna Credit Union's 2017 Board employee. Other conditions may apply. Qualifying candidates will be interviewed by the Credit Union Governance Committee, which is responsible to select the final slate of candidates for the 2018 election. Candidate applications are now available at any branch, by mail (call to request: 800-773-3236), and on our website. The deadline to submit a completed application is close of business Friday, November 10, 2017. The By-Laws do offer a petition option; petition deadline is February 8, 2018. There will be no nominations from the floor during the 51st Annual Meeting.

If you have questions, please contact the Board Governance Committee Chair, Chrissy Johnston, at 503-728-6124 or by email at gcomm@waunafcu.org.

The next elections for open positions on the Board of Directors will be conducted by electronic ballot, commencing February 14, 2018, and concluding at Midnight, March 14, 2018. Election results will be announced during the business meeting of the 51st Annual Meeting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m. at the Wauna Credit Union Learning Center, 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, Oregon.

Statement Insert – October 2017 Mobile Wallet, International Credit Union Day, Board of Directors Nominations, Account Updater, IRA

Quarterly Insert-OCT2017 Page 1Quarterly Insert-OCT2017- Page 2

Page 1
Mobile Wallet Is Here!
Wauna Credit Union just turned your phone into your wallet! We have agreements with the three major mobile wallet providers (Apple, Alphabet (Google/Android), and Samsung) so you can use your Wauna Credit or Debit cards with their mobile payment apps.
Signing up is simple. Pick your favorite mobile wallet, be it Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay, and add your Wauna Credit Union VISA or Debit card, then shop at participating locations.
With your Wauna Credit Card loaded on your mobile wallet, you can simply pay with your phone. Just tap it to the payment station and go on as normal — you don’t even need to open the app.
Samsung Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay

Call for Nominations
Join our Board of Directors
Flip the page to learn how

International Credit Union Day is Oct. 19!
We’re Celebrating All Month
As a member/owner of Wauna Credit Union, you are taking an active role in one of the most vital democratic movements in the entire world!
Credit Unions are financial cooperatives. We improve communities and the lives of those in the community by helping people buy homes & cars, borrow & save money, and of course build credit. As a not-for-profit entity, instead of making profits, any extra income we earn goes back to our members in the form of lower rates & fees.
Please stop in any branch to help celebrate this great union! We’ll be giving away freebies, and members can win $$ all month! Plus, we’ll have snacks and raffles on Oct. 19 for the official ICU Day. See you there!

Page 2
Call for Nominations! Join Our Board of Directors
51st Annual Meeting Scheduled For Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Wauna Credit Union announces its annual Call for Nominations for candidates for the 2018 elections for its member-elected, volunteer Board of Directors. Elected officials help to set the direction and policies for our member-owned, member-directed financial institution.
Qualifying candidates must be a current Wauna CU member, at least 18 years of age, their membership shall be in good standing, and any potential conflict of interest does not exist, such as a close personal relationship with a Wauna CU official or employee. Other conditions may apply. Qualifying candidates will be interviewed by the Credit Union Governance Committee, which is responsible to select the final slate of candidates for the 2018 election. Candidate applications are now available at any branch, by mail (call to request: 800-773-3236), and on our website. The deadline to submit a completed application is close of business Friday, November 10, 2017. The By-Laws do offer a petition option; petition deadline is February 8, 2018. There will be no nominations from the floor during the 51st Annual Meeting.
If you have questions, please contact the Board Governance Committee Chair, Chrissy Johnston, at 503-728-6124 or by email at gcomm@waunafcu.org.
The next elections for open positions on the Board of Directors will be conducted by electronic ballot, commencing February 14, 2018, and concluding at Midnight, March 14, 2018. Election results will be announced during the business meeting of the 51st Annual Meeting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 6:30 p.m. at the Wauna Credit Union Learning Center, 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, Oregon.

New Card? No problem!
VISA Account Updater
Wauna Credit Union is proud to announce VISA Account Updater, a free, automatic service for members who have automatic payments connected to their WCU debit or credit cards.
Now, when you get a new Debit or Credit Card, VISA Account Updater automatically updates all of your installment payments and subscription services with participating merchants. That means no more missed payments when your card expires or needs replacing.
We’re working every day to make life easier for you.

Live For Today!
Plan for Tomorrow
Starting an IRA to save for retirement or your children’s college education can be easy and pain free. Speak to a Member Consultant at any Wauna CU branch to learn just how simple saving for the future can be.
We’ll help you play more and worry less.

Important Notice: For Holders of IRAs
Payments from your IRA are subject to federal income tax withholding, unless you elect no withholding. You may change your withholding election at any time prior to your receipt of payment. To change your withholding election, complete the appropriate form provided by Wauna Credit Union. Withholding from IRA payments, when combined with other withholding, MAY relieve you from payment of estimated income taxes. However, your withholding election does not affect the amount of income tax you pay. You may incur penalties under the estimated tax rules if your withholding and estimated tax payments are insufficient.

The Credit Union Difference

Wauna Credit Union was formed, and continues to act, for the purpose of serving our communities of Clatsop, Columbia, and Western Washington Counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington. We talk a lot about our charity, and about serving our members. What we spend most of our day-to-day work on is being a financial institution that is working to help our members achieve their dreams. A huge part of that is being a not-for-profit credit union instead of a for profit bank.

We put together a video on what that difference means for us. Check it out to hear about the Credit Union Difference.

In addition, ECONorthwest created an independent analysis that analyzed the gross economic impacts of credit unions in Oregon and Washington. The study measured the jobs, economic output, and income Wauna Credit Union contributed to the economy in 2016.

Wauna Credit Union's Economic Impact Wauna Credit Union Impacts Direct Member Benefit 21, 564 number of members Jobs 90 jobs Income $5,426,000 income to credit union employees economic contribution $10,277,00 spending and compensation total economic impacts direct member benefit $1,899,00 Jobs 269 jobs Income $11,699,000 income supported by credit union employees Economic contribtuion $25,634,000 spending and compensation

The Equifax Breach: Your Comprehensive Guide.

UPDATE: In light of the Equifax breach and the fraud attempts on our members’ Credit Cards, ACH payments over $500 will have a 6 day hold placed before the funds will be made available to the member. Unfortunately there is not a way to narrow the ACH to just Telephone Payments, so it does apply to all ACH payments (web, recurring, etc). There also is not a way to exclude our routing number, so it will also apply to payments drawn on Wauna Credit Union Accounts.

There’s been a lot of news about the Equifax breach recently. We put together a guide to help our members understand what happened, and what the steps are to protect your information.

Who is Equifax?

Equifax is a consumer reporting agency and one of the three largest credit bureaus in the nation that retain the aggregate credit information of some 800 million American and Canadian citizens, including more than 88 million businesses internationally.

Why would they have my sensitive information?

Credit card companies, banks, credit unions, retailers, auto lenders, and mortgage lenders all report this information and the details of your credit activity to the major credit reporting agencies. Every time you open an account, which extends you credit, that company or entity reports the status of your account/s to these bureaus.

What happened?

In May of 2017, hackers trolling the internet for computer systems containing an exposed security flaw, discovered an Equifax server using outdated Apache software vulnerable to such an attack.

What was stolen and how many were compromised?

Social Security numbers, birth-dates, addresses, names, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and other documents, are among the data stolen in a breach that has affected more than 143 million US-based users.

Have I been breached?

Many of our members are wondering if they are affected, and if so what to do. The FTC has provided some guidance, but we have included some main steps below. If you do find that you were included, don’t worry, but protect yourself and take advantage of the Equifax services for those whose information was made available.

What do I do?

Guarding your personal information is a huge priority for Wauna Credit Union, and by using advanced fraud-monitoring technology and services, our committed staff is persistently watching your accounts for suspicious activity. In the wake of the Equifax breach, thieves may be even more prevalent in their attempts to steal your information. They might try one or many of the following in order to access your accounts:

  • Fraudsters may use spoofed phone numbers to contact the Credit Union (caller IDs may show member’s actual phone number).
  • Suspicious callers are stating they are members, having all the accurate information needed, including name, DOB, DL #s, addresses, transaction history on cards, and traditional info we might ask a person over the phone to ID them.
  • Attempts are being made to place travel notifications so fraudsters can use the cards outside of our members’ normal usage areas.

We understand how overwhelming the thought of identity theft might be, but there are ways to protect yourself against fraud, including steps you can take right now.

1. The best and first place to start is finding out if your data has been exposed. You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax’s website. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the data breach*.
*As of 09/29/2017 this service has been listed as “temporarily unavailable”. Continue to check regularly as Equifax catches up to mass inquiries.

2. Whether or not you’ve been compromised, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for year of free credit monitoring and other services**. The site has provided a date when you can come back to enroll.
**Equifax has confirmed people who enroll in the credit monitoring program as a result of the breach would not waive their right to class action.

3. Use strong passwords and always be aware of the information you provide when opening an account, conducting a transaction, or anywhere you might be transferring secure information.

4. Review your free credit reports. You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Get started here.

5. Take the time to monitor your accounts for unusual activity! Accounts on your credit reports that you didn’t open, inaccurate information, or credit inquiries from entities you’ve never contacted are all potential red flags that require immediate attention. If you find evidence of fraud, let us, the appropriate financial institution, and/or the credit reporting bureau know immediately.

6. Open a my Social Security account, which will prevent the bad guys from creating an account in your name, even if they’ve made off with your Social Security number.

7. Consider placing a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze makes it more difficult for a thief to open a new account in your name. FYI, however, a credit freeze will not prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.

8. Set a fraud alert, which requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account, or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not stop a lender from opening credit in your name, but it does require lenders to take additional steps to verify your identity beforehand. Better to be safe than sorry.

9. If you discover your identity has been compromised, you should file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.

10. Due to the increased amount of information available, some people are theorizing that we will see an increase in tax return fraud, so if possible do your taxes as early as possible this year.

Our staff is well-trained in sniffing out potential thieves, but we also need you to be vigilant in watching any accounts you may have outside of the Credit Union. Further, don’t click on suspicious links, don’t open attachments, and don’t respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls that are soliciting your information — no matter who the caller or sender is claiming to be.

In the meantime, rest assured that Wauna Credit Union is working around the clock to safeguard your finances, and we are here to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

For a list of FAQs regarding the breach, please visit https://goo.gl/tGWzP2, and as always, we are here if you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss.