What does a fraudulent email look like?

There’s spam, phishing, skimming, advanced fee, 419 Fraud, redemption fraud, and so much more. It can seem overwhelming to stay on top of. Wauna Credit Union does a lot behind the scenes to help make our financial platforms as secure as possible with technology like VISA 3-D Secure, and two-factor authentication, as well as continual staff education and awareness. We’ve provided tips on how to help keep your information, and your money, safe, but we’re always looking for new opportunities to help.

Recently we were alerted to a series of threatening emails one of our members received claiming to be from WCU. Luckily the member contacted a branch before providing information. We want to provide you a glimpse at what one of these scams actually looks like.

As you can see, the scammer did everything they could to get the member to make a quick decision. The top thing you can do when faced with any request for information, is to contact the credit union, either by calling our Virtual Branch at 1-800-773-3236, contacting us via our online chat or by visiting the nearest branch. If there’s an issue with your account, the person you contact will know about it, and be able to help.

scam email to member
A series of emails a member recently received

What to Look For

  • Non-standard from addresses; Anything that comes from the credit union will come from waunafcu.org. You can see this email actually comes from a Gmail account. Sometimes scammers will get tricky and try to spoof company’s names, for example waumafcu.org or waunafuc.org. Other times the company name is correct, but the actual domain, that’s the part after the @ symbol, is misleading, for example waunafcu.creditunion.org.
  • Threats; The scammer in this example relied heavily on the fear of going to jail. Wauna Credit Union will never threaten you. Our job is to help you, especially if you’ve fallen behind in your payments. In general, most reputable companies will always be respectful of you as a person, and threats of jail time are completely unfounded.
  • Overly long and changing subject lines; Scammers don’t want you thinking about what they say, and that includes doing everything to get you to avoid opening the email.
  • Grammar and punctuation errors; This series of emails is full of them. From not capitalizing the ‘c’ in Wauna Credit Union, to improper verb and noun agreement and simple misspellings, you can tell that our member was one of 100 the scammer was trying to fool.
  • Rushing you into action; Some of these emails came a minute or two after the previous one. The scammer claimed an initial payment must be made within days. All these actions were done to keep the member from evaluating what was actually happening.

Hopefully, seeing one of these scams in action will help you better recognize one if it comes your way.

April Anniversaries

No foolin’ Wauna Credit Union has some great employees celebrating anniversaries in April.

If you want to be one of the people celebrating next year, check out our careers page.  

Waunaversary Celebrants

Hannah Woodbury – 1 year

What is your current position?
I am an MC at the Saint Helens branch. I am on the front line and able to assist members with any basic transactions, helping them get loans, or even answering some financial questions and helping learn all the features in our new online and app banking platform U-Banking. Now that I’ve been at the credit union for a year, I’m also getting the opportunity to work with my colleagues to update the way we do some things to help our members.

Hannah and her dog
Hannah named her dog Rebeus after her love of Sailor Moon

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Learning to teach other people how to build their financial well-being, teaches you a lot about your own finances too! I spend a lot of time using the tools the credit union provides everybody – if you haven’t checked out Money Management within U-Banking give it a shot, and understanding the little things that cause your credit to go up and down has made me a resource for many of my friends and family that may have questions on finances.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could pick any hobby it would be archery, cause girls that shoot arrows are cool… I would also choose to travel all over the world with my friends and family, and maybe a few solo trips as an adventure.

Hannah also sat down to record an episode of WaunaTalk. Give it a listen.


  • McKenzie Wilson
  • Heather Dixson

  • Marci Szlavich
  • Ashleigh Sibley
  • Charles Dennis

How Do I Get a Mortgage

Do you want to buy a home, or maybe fix up the one you have, but have questions about getting a mortgage? Luckily, two of the best loan officer in Clatsop County are hear to answer your question.

Paige Tischer and Heather Dixson sat down with WaunaTalk recently. Both Paige and Heather have worked with our members for years. They talk through the steps it takes to get a mortgage, and the types of loans the credit union offers. Also, Paige and Heather chat about how a credit union is different than a bank or broker.

If you’re looking to purchase or refinance learn more on our Mortgage page. Wauna Credit Union offers primary, investment, vacation, and bare land loans. We also let you use the equity in your home to get a HELOC.

Whatever mortgage you need Wauna Credit Union has the solution for you. Our friendly RELOs, Mark, Jen, Paige, and Heather are here to answer any question you have.

Tell them Veyda sent you.

Veyda the Mortgage Dog
Veyda the Mortgage Dog takes a break after helping our members get their home loan


If you want to listen to past episodes of WaunaTalk check out this page. Employees discuss credit, working at the credit union, an even what makes a credit union special. If you have suggestions for future editions let us know.

A New and Improved WaunaTalk

Do you love Wauna Credit Union’s award-winning* financial education podcast WaunaTalk. Are you tired of going to YouTube to listen to it? Have no fear, WaunaTalk is now available in audio only format. In addition, you can download WaunaTalk from your favorite podcast directory, including Apple Podcasts, Sticher, Spotify, TuneIn, and Google Podcasts.

Please take a trip down memory lane with all of the WaunaTalk episodes. There are even new chats with Real Estate Loan Officers Heather Dixson and Paige Tisher. Paige and Heather answer common questions about getting a mortgage.









*2018 recepient of the I think it’s very good what you’re doing award. Given by the author’s mom, and not representative of actual podcast awards.

Teach your kids dollars and cents this National Credit Union Youth Month

If you’ve been meaning to talk to your kids about money, April is the perfect time to start. In addition to National Credit Union Youth Month, April also marks National Teach a Child to Save Day. So, in the spirit of occasion, here are three real-world experiences that parents can use to introduce kids to personal finance.

Have your children make purchases
Purchasing something is perhaps the most direct way to understand how money works. Therefore, it’s a great opportunity for your children. Try including them the next time you make a purchase.

Whether it’s at the supermarket or movie theater, give your kids cash to hand to the cashier, and then have them collect and count the change.

Lesson: Money is used in exchange for goods and services.

Open a savings account with them
There’s no better way to explain saving money to a child than to open an account in their name for this specific purpose.

Show them an actual Wauna Credit Union branch, point out our new Virtual Teller Machines and ATMs, and have them meet our staff. Reinforce the roles that financial institutions play in managing money. After the account is open, create a plan together for making regular deposits.

Additionally, throughout April, Wauna Credit Union will deposit the first $5 for all new Youth Jump Start Club Accounts. Members can also enter to win cash prizes by making deposits! Learn more here.

Lesson: While piggy banks are cute, savings accounts are the best option for stashing your cash.

Inspire them to start a business
There’s a reason why lemonade stands have stood the test of time. These micro businesses represent many children’s first exposure to earning money. If lemonade’s not their thing, encourage them to offer pet sitting or yard work to your neighbors.

Lesson: Money is earned through work.

Our young members have limitless potential, and financial education from Wauna Credit Union can be instrumental in helping them achieve it. Swing by one of our branches and celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month.

By staying true to credit union philosophy in an engaging new way, we can set our young members on the path to financial education, understanding and security. We look forward to seeing you — and your future — soon!

February Statement Insert

February Monthly Statement Page 1

Roll into Rebates
Get 1% cash back
60 days no payments
All vehicles, watercrafts,
off road, unsecured loans,
and more can be
24/7 Lending l waunafcu.org l 800-773-3236
Upon loan approval, current and new Wauna CU members who refinance a loan currently financed elsewhere to Wauna Credit Union qualify to receive: 1. an immediate Cash Rebate equal to 1% of the approved loan value; 2. 60-Days No Payments (interest will continue to accrue during the 60-day period); and, 3. Wauna CU will pay the vehicle title transfer fee up to $100 (member is responsible to pay any additional amount). Qualifying Loans: Auto, Truck, SUV, Van, Motor home, trailer, boat, watercraft, motorcycles, side-by-sides, quads, and
unsecured loans such as home furnishings, tuition, personal loans, etc.). Minimum loan amount to qualify for special terms: $2,000; Maximum rebate allowed is $500 per qualifying loan. Interest will continue to accrue during the 60-Day No Payment period. These special, promotional financing terms end at close of business April 30, 2019. Rates & financing are offered based on applicant’s credit worthiness and term of the loan. Note: the promotional cash
rebate paid to a member may be forfeit if the loan balance is paid in full within 180-days of the loan funding date. Membership with Wauna CU required to be eligible for this special offer. *Special “Roll into Rebates” Auto Loan promotion: Wauna Credit Union members (current or new) who finance a qualifying loan (New or Used Auto, Truck, SUV, Van, Hybrid, Electric) using the GrooveCar service are eligible to receive: 1. an immediate Cash Rebate equal to 1% of the
approved loan value; and, 2. 60-Days No Payments. Applicants must redeem the “Roll into Rebates” Coupon to Wauna Credit Union during the loan funding period to qualify for the special terms. This Coupon is available only on the Wauna Credit Union page of GrooveCar.com. Interest will continue to accrue during the 60-Day No Payment period. The promotional cash rebate paid to a member may be forfeit if the loan balance is paid in full within 180-days of the
loan funding date. This special offer ends April 30, 2019. Membership with Wauna CU required to qualify for this special offer.

52nd Annual Meeting is 03/12/2019 at 6:30 PM
Erlene Darby Learning Center
49249 HWY 30 Westport, Oregon
Doors open at 6 PM

February Monthly Statement Page 2

Apply for a Wauna Credit Union Scholarship!
Learn more at waunafcu.org

Wauna Credit Union
Federally insured by the NCUA
24/7 Lending l waunafcu.org l 800-773-3236

Open or contribute to your IRA with
WCU. Save for your future.

Reminder: Call Cascade Crest Insurance
To Compare My Insurance Rates
email: info@cascadecrestins.com

February Anniversaries

Today is a day for love. Wauna Credit Union loves all of our employees and members, and today we’re showing our love to all our employees celebrating anniversaries in February.

If you want to be one of the people celebrating next year, check out our careers page.  

Waunaversary Celebrants

Paige Tischer – 7 years

What is your current position?
I am Real Estate Loan Officer based out of our Astoria branch on the coast. I have worked at the credit union for seven years on Valentine’s Day, starting as a Member Consultant. I grew up in Clatsop county, my favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to help our members build their financial well-being. I love helping our community with buying their new homes.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?

Paige with Flowers
Paige loves being a Valentine Anniversary

Working at Wauna Credit Union has taught me to come to work with passion and purpose every day. Our members can tell that we really care about them and helping them reach their financial milestones.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve been riding horses my entire life. If I could, I’d build a small barn and spend my time riding all the trails around Astoria.

Karissa Temple – 5 years

What is your current position?
I am a Lending Support Specialist. I have many hats to wear with this position and love that it’s never the same. I fund indirect loans from the dealerships, help MC’s with questions they may have, audit consumer and mortgage loans. I also get to travel around and take pictures of houses for property inspections.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
The one that stands out the most is how credit unions are different from banks. How we think about our members needs and how to help them for their future. I have found many members that I have taken under my wing and shared the knowledge that I have gained to help them obtain their financial goals.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would pick sky diving for my new hobby.

Kira Zavortink – 3 years

What is your current position?
My current position is Lending Support Specialist. I am tasked with underwriting consumer loans, funding indirect auto loans, auditing mortgages and consumer loans, and completing property inspections and ordering appraisals for mortgages. I am also available to answer any loan questions that Member Consultants might have. I transferred from a front line position in the Warrenton branch this last year. I do miss directly assisting members, but I get to put my skills to work helping members behind the scenes in my new position.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Probably the biggest thing that I have learned working at Wauna is what credit is and how to build it. When I started I had zero credit and zero knowledge on the importance of having a decent credit score. Because Wauna is so dedicated to helping our members with credit score enhancement I have learned so much about what makes up a credit score and how to improve it.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If time wasn’t an issue I would most likely read or go hiking more often.

Amber Seely – 3 years

Amber’s anniversary coincided with her being awarded Employee of the Quarter. Read all about Amber here.

Katelynn Persons – 1 year

Katelynn and Hugo
Katelynn and a friendly stranger take a picture in front of a waterfall (Okay, that’s her fiance Hugo, who also works for WCU)

What is your current position?
I am the Title Clerk in our Operations department. I’m the one who makes sure the titles for all the paid off loans and mortgages are properly transferred over to our members. Those are called Perfected Titles and Reconveyances in case you were wondering. It’s fun to be the one who lets our members know that they’ve paid off their loan. I also do all claims for delinquent loans and vehicle crashes, but hopefully there aren’t too many of those.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working for Wauna Credit Union has taught me that everyone can fit in. That you do not have to settle for being just a number, and that goes for both being a member of the credit union as well as an employee. For both, I am treated as an individual with individual needs, experiences, and talents. I have learned that it is okay to strive for more, it is okay to say I don’t know, and that everyone has purpose.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby, I would definitely take up event planning. I love getting to sort out the fine details, decorating, and making people smile.

Rebekah Ausmus – 1 year

What is your current position?
I’m a Loan Servicing Specialist. I wear a lot of different hats around here, but it’s all about making sure all our members loans are taken care of behind the scenes. I take care of all the Escrow accounts, making sure that the taxes and insurance are paid on time and the renewals are up to date. I also track the insurance for all the consumer loans (both vehicle and homes) and make sure they have insurance so our members are protected, I submit all title and registration documents to the State Motor Vehicle departments and try to make sure everything is in order before we send it to them. I’m also part of the Operations Team so I try to my best to help our internal and external members whenever they have questions.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I’ve learned that working at a credit union is not all about making money. It’s about being there for our members and helping them live a financially successful life. I love when I hear from our members that they feel Wauna truly cares about their financial well-being.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would travel the United States, visiting every town in each state and learning something unique about each, then I would write a book about it.


  • Mike McTague

Employee of the Quarter: Amber Seely

Amber and familyWe have over 100 great employees at Wauna Credit Union. Each Quarter we recognize one person who consistently goes above and beyond, and name them Employee of the Quarter. We’re kicking the year off with a bang with our Employee of the Quarter Amber Seely.

We sat down with Amber to find out more about her, and learn more about her time representing Wauna Credit Union.

Getting to Know Amber

What is your title?
I’m a Card Service Specialist based out of Clatskanie. I work behind the scenes to help make sure our credit and debit card programs are running smoothly. I also Amber talk with members and help them when there is a dispute on a purchase. Prior to that I was a member consultant in St. Helens.

What brought you to WCU?
I was a medical assistant in Portland. When my daughter was born, I stayed home for some time, and when I was ready to come back to work I started looking for a job that was closer to home, that still gave me the chance to talk to people, and had the opportunity for growth. When a job at Wauna opened up, I jumped at it.

What is your favorite thing about working here?
There are so many things I love about working here, but my favorite thing is just getting the chance to work with people, both coworkers and members. I’m a very social person, and I love helping people. The great thing about my job is I get to help people multiple times a day.

Amber at work

What project has been your favorite?
My favorite project is one that’s going on right now. Our members really love our Visa Rewards Cards, and we’re constantly looking for ways to make them better. It’s been fun to look at all the ways we can give a little back to members just for using their cards. We have some exciting things coming up.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in St. Helens, and I think it will always be my home. I love the community and knowing that my neighbors are always looking out for me, and I’m looking out for them.

What was a time you laughed really hard at work?
I laugh all the time at work, but I’ll tell you when I don’t laugh, when you manage to find bad pictures of me and turn them into memes. (Editor’s note, that’s what Amber gets for stealing my phone at TMA training and taking selfies.)Amber-Smiling

Why do you think somebody should become a Wauna Member?
I think somebody should become a member, because all the decisions are made by local people. Our mission is to help people build their financial well-being. We do that by working with people to make a loan work, help them save a little bit more money, or making it easy to do their banking 24/7.

Have you ever done anything embarrassing at work?
I don’t get embarrassed easily. Recently, at one of our In-Service days I lead a group dancing in front of the whole credit union. Some people might be embarrassed doing that, but my passion is dancing, so I wasn’t embarrassed at all. We had secret practices, and nobody was expecting it. It was great.

In a World With Identity Theft

Identity theft – the idea instantly sparks anxiety. How much money will they get? How long will it take me to discover something is wrong? Will I be able to pay my bills? How long until I get my money back? While there’s never a guarantee, there are several steps you can take to prevent a bad actor from gaining access to your money.Cartoon man committing identity theft

Types of Identity Theft:

The first step in better protecting yourself is knowing the type of identity theft you are trying to prevent. Some fraudsters gain access to existing accounts to steal the money or credit you already have. This type of fraud is easier to notice, but causes more upheaval in your life. Others simply mine enough identifying information about you to open up accounts in your name and without your knowledge. The good news here is you aren’t likely to have your daily finances affected, but the fraud can go undetected for much longer. Often, this type of activity is not discovered until you are applying for a loan or mortgage.

Safeguarding Your Existing Information:

This is the most common way people see their finances compromised. There many steps you can take, but the important thing is to limit the number of ways your information is not within your control.

  • Shred documents with personal information before discarding. Better yet, sign up for paperless billing.
  • Don’t give out personal information or account numbers unless you know who you’re dealing with.
  • This is especially true online. Make sure you trust the site before you enter your information. We recently posted a blog about holiday shopping that discussed more ways to stay safe online.
  • Speaking of being online, make sure your passwords are secure. Here’s a guide on how to create a secure password.
  • Be mindful when using your cards that nobody is looking over your shoulder, and be on the lookout for skimmers. Read our post on how to recognize skimmers.

Safeguarding Your Identity

As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can seem overwhelming. Stealing information is a fraudster’s full-time job, but as the joke about outrunning a bear goes, the trick is to be more secure than others, so you’re not the easiest target.

  • Pay attention to when and where you give out personal information. Getting enough information to steal an identity is like putting together a puzzle – information is gathered piece-by-piece.
  • Create a fraud alert with the credit bureaus. This doesn’t keep new accounts from being opened. It requires lenders to verify your information before issuing new credit. The FTC has a good primer on how to set up a fraud alert here.
  • Consider signing up for a credit and information monitoring service. This isn’t a fail-safe, but if you want to be sure, it’s a good step.


  • Go to annualcreditreport.com every year to make sure you know every line of credit that is tied to you.
  • If you have children, check their information as well. Every year thousands of kids have their identity stolen, and it can be years before anybody realizes it has happened.
  • Monitor your financial account statements and order history from online retailers. If you see something you don’t recognize, immediately look into it.
  • Pay attention to the news. If you hear about a breach make sure it’s not a place that might have your information.

Choose Your Partners Wisely:

This is something that often goes overlooked, but can be one of the most important ways to keep your identity safe. You should only trust your data with companies that value your information as much as you do. At WCU, for example, guarding your personal information is crucial to us. By using advanced fraud-monitoring technology, our committed staff closely monitors your accounts for suspicious or irregular activity.

If you regularly go into a branch, contact our Virtual Center, or even use our new Virtual Teller Units, we pay attention to who you are. So, it’s easier for us to notice when something seems off, or when we see activity on your accounts that is different from your normal spending behavior.

Stay Calm

This isn’t necessarily what you want to hear, but even if you do everything right, your information might still be compromised. If that happens though, rest assured there are protections in place to ensure you aren’t left holding the bag. This infographic outlines your liability.

The thing to remember is that the faster you act, the less severe the impact is going to be.

  • File an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov (currently unavailable due to the government shutdown) or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.
  • File a police report. Most people think it won’t make a difference, but this is an essential step.
  • Contact your financial institutions and let them know what happened.
  • Criminals often change your address with the post office so they can get your new cards automatically sent to them. Keep your eyes out for a change of address card from the USPS, or call 1-800-ASK-USPS.
  • If you didn’t do it before, place that fraud alert.
  • Consider a credit freeze. This is a drastic step, as it prevents you from getting credit as well, but can stop the issue from snowballing.

This is a lot to take in, and it’s something we all wish we didn’t have to worry about. The more care taken in preventing identity theft, the less likely it is to happen. Remember, there are a number of fraud-preventative services WCU offers, and our committed staff is here for you should you have questions, need advice, or simply want to check in on your accounts.

Financial Benefits of Membership at a Credit Union

Guess what?

Credit unions provide all of the financial services you need: savings accounts, loans, financial education, credit cards, online and mobile banking, and more. The “more” part is the best part, because it represents your benefits as a member.

Okay, so what’s the difference between a credit union and a bank?

The key difference between local credit unions and other financial services is that we are owned by members like you. Unlike for-profit financial institutions, which take their marching-orders from stockholders, we exist only to serve you and your financial needs. You’re the boss! With no Wall Street fat-cats to pay, we are uniquely positioned to return direct financial benefits to members. This includes better interest rates and lower fees.

But what does that mean to you?

In 2018 alone, Oregon credit unions provided a whopping $152 million in direct financial benefits to over 2 million members. That’s the equivalent of about $75 per member, and $160 per household. Financing a $25,000 new automobile for 60 months at an Oregon credit union saves you an average of $177 in annual interest compared to what you would pay at the nearby bank.

How do credit union members benefit?

Do you want more examples of the benefits of belonging to a credit union? How does earning a better return on your savings sound? 2018 also saw the collective member benefit from higher interest rates on savings at more than $3.6 million. We supported local spending to the tune of $333 million. Not to mention a $1.8 billion boost to the Oregon economy.

And the list goes on…

  • In the Northwest, 6.5 million consumers have discovered the Credit Union Difference.
  • Nearly everyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Idaho, Oregon, or Washington is eligible to join a credit union. Learn more by visiting www.asmarterchoice.org.
  • Credit unions provide jobs to 19,600 of your Northwest neighbors—2,520 in Idaho, 5,850 in Oregon, and 12,200 in Washington.
  • Oregon alone supported more than $802 million in total income to working Oregonians.
  • Credit unions earn a corporate tax exemption because they are not-for-profit cooperatives that return earnings to their members.
  • Giving back to the community is part of the Credit Union DNA.
  • You’re treated like you truly belong—because you’re more than a number—you’re a member.
  • Credit unions live by Northwest values: local, cooperative, community based.

To learn even more about how credit unions support the Pacific Northwest, visit OregonLovesCreditUnions.com. Find out why 50 percent of Oregonians have chosen credit unions as their financial services partners.

Wauna Credit Union is also a very safe place for you to save money. The National Credit Union Association insures all deposits up to at least $250,000 per individual.

So, spread the good word! Tell your friends to join a credit union today!

All analysis provided by economists at ECONorthwest, a highly regarded economic consulting firm.