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3 tips to keep your money and identity safe right now

Consumer Tips
3 tips to keep your money and identity safe right now

Right now, you may be feeling some uncertainty about your finances. That’s okay. The best course of action is to be safe, rational and calm.

Arsenal Credit Union recommends that you always take the below precautions when it comes to your money and your identity. Information in this blog post pertains to the COVID-19 outbreak and some financial/technological situations you may face.

1. Protect your data

NBC News reports that there is a coronavirus phishing email attack circulating. This attack aims to grab your personal information, steal your money and infect your computer with malware.

When you receive emails from untrustworthy sources, don’t click links in them. If anyone asks for your personal information, account number or debit card PIN, don’t give them out. Arsenal Credit Union will never ask for this information over the phone.

2. Don’t hoard your cash

It may seem like a good idea to grab all the cash out of your account and keep it safe at home. It’s not. Your money can get damaged in a flood or fire. It could also get stolen — and it’s a lot easier for a robber to rob your house than it is a bank.

You can be sure your money is safe at Arsenal.

All credit unions in Missouri are federally insured through the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Across the board, credit union accounts are insured and protected through the NCUA. The level of protection NCUA insurance provides is $250,000 per account, the same level as other financial institutions through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions.

“Credit unions are the safest place for members’ money,” says Brad Douglas, president/CEO of the Heartland Credit Union Association. “During this unprecedented time, credit unions are doing what they do best – helping their members.  Their top priority is the safety and soundness of their members’ accounts.”

3. Use plastic or a contactless option as often as possible

Money changes hands all of the time and is a breeding ground for bacteria. In fact, a single dollar bill can host 3,000 types of bacteria and change hands thousands of times. The average bill can stay in circulation for up to 15 years.

Don’t panic too much. Cash doesn’t have the correct temperature or moisture conditions to transfer bacteria. It’s porous surface actually keeps most of the bacteria in so it doesn’t get on your hands. In short, money isn’t very good at transferring disease. It’s still a good idea to wash or sanitize your hands after handling money.

If you’re still worried about using cash, just use your debit or credit card to make transactions instead. When possible, insert the card into the point-of-sale terminal on your own. When paying with debit, avoid pressing the number pad as much as possible by running it as credit.

An even safer way to shop is to set up Apple Pay or Google Pay with your Arsenal debit or credit card. This will make your transaction as contactless as possible.

Please exercise caution and use common sense.