Consumer Coronavirus Resources

Credit Unions Can Help You Navigate Financial Uncertainty

As not for profit financial institutions, credit unions put their members first and can help address financial concerns in unprecedented uncertainty. Your money is safe and accessible and credit unions can put you in touch with additional resources that may be available. This is what you need to know:impact report

  • The Minnesota Credit Union Network urges members to use online tools or call your credit union to transfer or understand financial options.

  • Any cash withdrawal eliminates the NCUA insurance, and could put people’s public safety at risk.

  • All Minnesota credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) per individual up to $250,000, just as bank deposits are insured by the FDIC.
  • If you have lost your job, or are experiencing financial stress please contact your credit union directly. As community-based not-for-profit organizations credit unions are tracking state and federal initiatives that will help our members. We will make information available as it is finalized.

  • Most Minnesota Credit Unions offer the following services:
    • Deposit checks electronically
    • Transfer funds
    • Make loan and credit card payments
    • Apply for an account or loan
    • Send cash electronically

 

 

 

 


Minnesota Credit Unions Remain Open to Serve

Credit Unions are an essential service and are open to serve during Stay at Home order for Minnesota. 

As financial institutions are an essential service, Minnesota Credit Unions remain open to serve members during the Stay at Home order declared by Governor Walz.

 


Health Related Resources

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 updates, resources, and guidance.

Mayo Clinic COVID-19 page with symptoms, causes, risk factors, and prevention information.


Getting Financial AssistanceSafe, Sound and Secure

Minnesota Credit Unions are committed to meeting the financial needs of our members through this evolving situation. Contact your credit union if you have financial concerns and they may be able to provide emergency loans or skip-a-payment options. If you are not already a member, visit yourmoneyfurther.org to find a credit union near you.

Financial Literacy Forum

News Talk 830 WCCO's Blois Olson talks to financial experts and group leaders of Minnesota's Credit Unions about everything from refinancing, to scams to how to reach your children about money. Credit unions represented included...

MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union

HomeTown Credit Union

First Alliance Credit Union

Firefly Credit Union 

United Educators Credit Union

 

UNEMPLOYMENT

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Small Business Administration: Working capital loans to help small businesses meet financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.   

HOUSING

FOOD

Second Harvest Heartland

UTILITIES


Economic Impact Payments

Information on the Economic Impact Payments from the IRS

How to Make the Most of Your Economic Impact Payment (National Credit Union Foundation)

  1. Prioritize: Focus on the bills that keep a roof over your head, the lights on and food on the table. Check with your local jurisdiction as many utilities and communications providers are working with consumers to waive fees, keep the power on and your internet connection working.   
  2. Talk: With your credit union and other lenders. Many are offering low or 0% small dollar loans, skip-a-pay, loan modifications and other sources of help so you can use your payment for what you need now. 
  3. Save some of it: If you set aside even $100-200, that can provide a cushion for bills that are coming in a couple of weeks. America Saves has solid resources and information to help with access to food and unemployment benefits.   
  4. Don’t hoard cash: Keep it in your credit union. It’s safest there.   
  5. Protect: There are lots of bad guys out there trying to use this crisis to get at your stimulus check and your money. Watch out for suspicious emails, texts or phone calls. Here’s a great article that can help you keep an eye out for these threats.   
  6. Pay your taxes: The deadline for filing and paying income taxes has been extended to July 15th. If you haven’t saved to pay your income taxes, you may want to consider using the economic impact payment to pay your taxes. 

Read the Blog Post from National Credit Union Foundation


LSS Financial Counseling


Avoiding Scams and Protecting Your Finances

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The CFPB is committed to providing consumers with up-to-date information and resources to protect and manage their finances during this difficult time as the situation evolves.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce

Urging Minnesota consumers to be on alert for potential scams created to take advantage of the fear, isolation, and uncertainty during this unprecedented time. 

In addition, consumers should be asking the following questions about every e-mail, phone call, and piece of mail they receive because the answers could trigger potential red flags for fraud and scams:

  • Is the e-mail, phone call, or mail from someone you don’t know?
  • Is the sender, caller, or item offering you something that seems too good to be true?
  • Is the sender, caller, or item using language to incite fear or threaten you?
  • Is the sender, caller, or item urging you to “Act Now” before it’s too late?
  • Is the sender, caller, or item requesting payment from you and promising to give you something in return after your payment?

Minnesota consumers should be cautious.  If there is doubt about the sender, caller, or the idea being pitched - Hang up. Delete the e-mail.  Recycle the mail.  

At this time, the Department does not have any reported cases of COVID-19 financial scams. If you have questions or if you believe you may have been the victim of a scam or fraud, please contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by e-mail at consumer.protection@state.mn.us

Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison has advised consumers to be hyper-aware of COVID-19 scams and report price gouging.  Information can be found at:  https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Communications/2020/03/13_CoronavirusScams.asp

Attorney General Ellison warns Minnesotans about COVID-19 phishing attacks: https://www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Communications/2020/03/24_CovidPhishingScams.asp


FBI Anticipates Rise in COVID-19 Scams Against Businesses and Consumers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning both businesses and consumers of a rise in fraudulent scams related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a recent press release the FBI states,  “Fraudsters will take advantage of any opportunity to steal your money, personal information, or both. Right now, they are using the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to further their efforts.” Here are some of the most common fraud schemes the FBI is seeing:

  • “Business email compromise scam” (BEC) where fraudsters target persons who perform legitimate funds transfers. According to the FBI there has been an increase in BEC frauds targeting municipalities purchasing personal protective equipment or other COVID-19 related supplies. There have also been BEC attempts against financial institutions and their customers. 
  • Government Impersonator scam is one of the most prevalent schemes. Fraudsters contact people via social media, email or by phone and pretend to be from a government agency (e.g., IRS or CDC). The FBI has seen cases of fraudsters going door to door with this scam. 
  • Fraudulent Cures or Medical Equipment scam where fraudsters sell fake COVID-19 cures or medical equipment. The danger of this scam goes beyond financial harm and can result in physical harm.
  • Investment Fraud is a scheme where criminals offer an opportunity to invest in COVID-19 cure or treatment. 

Be aware of red flags, such as:

  • Unexplained urgency in the communication.
  •  Last minute changes in wire instructions or recipient account information.
  • Requests from employees to change direct deposit information.
  • Last minute changes established communication platforms or email account addresses.

More information on ways to protect against scams is available on the FBI’s press release. In general, the FBI recommends that people be skeptical. 


News

Minnesota Credit Unions are Working to Prevent COVID-19 Related Fraud Targeting Seniorshttps://www.mncun.org/news/501696/-Minnesota-Credit-Unions-are-Working-to-Prevent-COVID-19-Related-Fraud-Targeting-Seniors.htm

Open for Business Minnesota (KS95 - St. Paul): Credit Unions are open for business and ready to help

https://www.podmn.com/episodes/1022159

Minnesota Department of Commerce Consumer Alert: Commissioner Kelley Reassures Minnesota Residents on the Security of their Deposits in Financial Institutions

https://mn.gov/commerce/media/news/?id=424453

Guidance on Cash During Pandemic + Consumer Resources: CDC advises against using cash. Mobile banking offers access and robust tools.

 https://www.mncun.org/news/495370/

Minnesota Credit Unions to Consumers: Do Not Withdraw Large Amounts of Cash, Beware of Scams

https://www.mncun.org/news/494154/Minnesota-Credit-Unions-to-Consumers-Do-Not-Withdraw-Large-Amounts-of-Cash-Beware-of-Scams.htm

Banks, credit unions closing branches in response to coronavirus threat
Many drive-throughs, ATMs remain open, as well as mobile banking. 

http://www.startribune.com/banks-credit-unions-closing-branches-in-response-to-coronavirus-threat/568869392/


Online Financial Education Resources – for Parents and Teachers

MnCU Jr Financial Education AppSponsored by the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation, this app teaches simple money concepts through tools for kids to manage their money and financial games for ages 2 to 12. Available in your app store.

Biz Kid$The overall objective of Biz Kid$ is to engage young people and help them develop life skills in the areas of money management and entrepreneurship. The initiative includes an Emmy award-winning television series, free classroom curriculum, outreach activities, and a website targeting kids 9 – 16 year olds. Biz Kid$ is exclusively funded and by credit unions!

MyCreditUnion.gov: The NCUA’s consumer website includes information on topics like managing debt, setting a budget, understanding home equity loans, and planning for the expected.

My Money.GovThe Department of the Treasury prepared report highlighting the importance of financial literacy and education for all Americans and identifies ways to improve the delivery of financial education. A special section provides information about and links to a collection of federal guides and curricula for teachers ; and another area provides games, fun activities, websites, video games, and information about money for kids and youth

University of Minnesota ExtensionUniversity of Minnesota Extension helps Minnesotans explore and understand how to secure stable housing, manage the safety and efficiency of homes, and better plan for your financial future.

Minnesota Council for Economic Education – distance learning resources

National Endowment for Financial Education

Best PrepBestPrep is a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that provides educational programs to students in grades 4-12, with the mission of preparing students with business, career, and financial literacy skills through hands-on experiences that inspire success in work and life. Play the Stock Market Game with kids while they’re at home and want to learn to invest.

Jump$tart ClearinghouseSearch the premier online library of financial education resources for teachers, parents, caregivers, and anyone committed to financial smarts for students.

Minnesota Credit Union Network
555 Wabasha Street N, Suite 200
St. Paul, MN 55102

(651) 288-5170
(800) 477-1034