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New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Please enjoy this FREE E-Book from Mutual Credit Union as a gift to Kick Start your Successful Financial New Year in 2019! This workbook is designed to help you set goals, track them throughout 2019 and make your financial dreams a reality!

Click New Years Resolutions_eBook-interactive for the Downloadable Version. Enjoy!

New Years Resolution Workbook

January Resolutions Step 1

February Resolutions Step 2

March Resolutions Step 3

April Resolutions Step 4

May Resolutions Step 5

June Resolution Step 6

July Resolution Step 7

August Resolution Step 8

September Workbook

October Workbook

November Workbook

December Workbook

WE Can’t Wait To SAY……………………………..

 

Congratulations on a Job Well Done

2021-2022 Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Committee NOW Accepting Applications

January 14, 2021

2021-2022 Mutual Credit Union Scholarship

(Vicksburg, MS): The Mutual Credit Union Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce the we are accepting applications for our 2021-2022 Mutual CU Scholarship. Every year, Mutual provides $10,000 in awards for the upcoming school year to recognize its members who have shown scholastic achievement and who are interested in advancing their education. We will award six (6) scholarships in the amount of $3000, $2000, (2) $1500, and (2) $1000 to High School Seniors who best meet the requirements.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 31, 2021. A completed application package must be mailed or delivered by March 31, 2021 to the following address:

Mutual Credit Union • ATTN: Susan Mandarino • PO Box 25 • Vicksburg, MS 39181

It can also be emailed to smandarino@mutualcu.org or delivered to any of our branch locations. For additional questions or to request an application be mailed to you, please call 877-457-3654 ext. 1226 or email smandarino@mutualcu.org.

Mutual CU has a firmly-held belief that the education of our community’s youth is a solid investment in our community’s future. We wish the best of luck to all applicants and to each of our graduating seniors.

Hours of operation for all Mutual locations are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; drive through services open at 8:30 a.m. Account access is also available 24/7/365 by visiting www.mutualcu.org, using the Mutual Credit Union app on your mobile device or by calling our SAM Audio Response System at 1-877-457-3654 Option 1.

For more information about the Mutual Credit Union Scholarship program, please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or by calling (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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Christmas Celebrations Apart but Together in 2020

Our Mutual Credit Union Christmas celebrations looked completely different than in years past. Our Mutual family looks forward every year to celebrating our challenges, achievements, and future missions together as we look to close out another year. However, this year, like so many others, we are split in many directions. Some are working at a distance, some are working at different branches, while others are multi-tasking from day to day either in or out of the office. Nevertheless, this is still a time of year for giving, celebrating, and cherishing our time together even while we are apart. In a way, uniquely Mutual, we planned a “Countdown to Christmas.” Each day leading up to Christmas, we featured fun and festive experiences to share together. We hope you enjoy this small taste of our “Countdown to Christmas.”

Tasty Sweets to Enjoy from our Christmas Cookie Recipe Exchange

Special Guest Appearance and Pep Talk by the One and Only, Jaleel White

Escape into the Winter Wonderland of Mutual CU Parade of Christmas Trees

Nothing Like a Healthy Lip-Syncing Competition, Christmas Carol Style

‘Tis the Season of Giving to Good Shepherd Community Center and Warren-Yazoo Behavioral Health

Who Down in Whooville is the Ugly Sweater Competition Winner!?!

Ashley Sampley, 2020 Ugly Sweater Competition Winner

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours!

Hey College Students! Have You Seen This Scam?

December 2, 2020

by Ari Lazarus

Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

Scammers are targeting college students. In the last year, we told you about a car wrap scam and a COVID-19 scam hitting college students. Today, we want to tell you about a fake check scam.

In this one, a scammer posing as a professor sends you an email. It uses a college domain name and a format like your.name@collegename.edu. The scammer offers you a part-time job, like personal assistant or dog walker. Then, the scammer sends you a check, asks you to deposit it, send some of the money to someone else, and keep the rest as payment. A while later, the bank realizes the check was fake and deducts the original check amount from your account. So, if you deposited a $1,000 check, they’ll take that back. But if you sent $400 to someone else, you’re now out $400 of your own money.

People report losing a lot of money to fake check scams. The median loss in 2019 was $1,988. That’s a lot of money for anyone to lose. But an FTC analysis published earlier this year showed that people in their twenties are more than twice as likely as people over 30 to report losing money to fake check scams.

Fake Check Scams Infographic

So how do you avoid a fake check scam? Never use money from a check to send gift cards, money orders, or wire money to someone. It’s always a scam. And, once you send the money or put it on a gift card and give someone the gift card PIN, it‘s like giving them cash. It’s almost impossible to get your money back.

Banks have to give you money from deposited checks within a few days. But if the check turns out to be a fake, they’ll make sure they get that money back from your account. The bottom line is, if someone sends you a check and tells you to send money by wire transfer or gift card — it’s a scam.

Spotted a scam like this? We want to hear about it. Let us know at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.Blog Topics: Money & Credit

Save Money This Holiday Season With These DIY Gift Hacks

Love the holidays but hate the Santa sticker shock that follows? No need to spend your way into debt this Christmas. Keep costs down and make the holidays more meaningful by gifting your loved ones with personalized homemade presents. From pamper-me packages crafted with care, to home décor that costs just a few dollars, to home-baked goodies that say “I love you,” the sky’s the limit when you DIY! Here are 13 homemade gift ideas from across the cyber-verse to get you started.

Sugar cookie sack

Everyone loves pulling freshly baked cookies out of the oven, but who wants to bother with measuring and mixing all those ingredients? Make it easy for your loved one with this adorable sack of sugar-cookie mix. Decorate the sack to make it personal, and you’ll have a heartwarming gift costing less than $10.

Fleece blanket

Help your friends and family gear up for winter with a cozy fleece blanket. If you’re handy with a needle, you can design a deluxe version of this fuzzy piece of heaven; otherwise, keep it simple, sweet and oh, so cheap.

Pedicure kit

Has your friend been pining for a pedicure? Gift them with all they need to make their nails sparkle with a “for your mistletoes” nail kit! Fill a $7 Mason jar with polishes, filers, a buffer and everything else they need for a spa-at-home experience.

Wall clock

Dress up a flat circle of wood with some beautiful material, attach a clock kit and voila — homemade designer décor for just a few dollars! This clock makes the perfect gift for the friend who’s just moved into a new home or dorm room. Learn how to make your wall clock here.

Bubble bath gift set

Who doesn’t love a relaxing bubble bath? This gift makes it possible with a complete bubble bath kit, including chocolate, bath salts, a candle, soaps, a pouf and more. Learn how to create your own at Sugar and Charm.

Instagram picture frame

Round up your friend’s best Instagram snaps of the year with this creative desktop frame. This gift will make them smile all year long.

Infused vodkas

Flavor your own vodkas and give your friends a unique gift they’ll enjoy for days to come. Choose between classic flavors or experiment with brave new ideas, like spicy citrus and cucumber tarragon. Get the tutorial for infused booze here.

Money tree

Who says money doesn’t grow on trees? Give the gift of cash with an adorable holiday-themed presentation by rolling up stacks of bills into tree boughs. Learn how here.

Recipe box

This one is for the friend who dreams of starring on “Chopped.” Fill this personalized, decorated recipe box with their own best recipes and add a few new gems for their collection. They’ll think of you every time they cook up another storm. Check out Club Crafted to get the full tutorial.

Snowball bath bombs

Bath time is fun again with these peppermint-infused bath bombs! Package inside plastic ornaments for a real holiday treat.

Rainbow candles
We’re all spending more time at home these days, and what better way to light up a cold winter evening than with these gorgeous rainbow candles? All you need for these eye-catching creations is a bit of time and some old crayons.

Painted picture frames

Dress up dollar-store picture frames with colored chalk paint for the perfectly memorable gift. Learn how at Make Your Mark.

Reindeer gift card holder

This holiday-themed card holder is the perfect present for that friend who owns a collection of gift cards and needs a place to keep them safe. You can also use it to dress up a gift card and make it more personal. It’s made out of leftover toilet paper rolls and basic craft materials you likely already have at home.

Keep the stress out of the holidays this year with our DIY gift hacks. It’s all the shared love with none of the debt. Plus, creating these gifts will keep you busy as you ride out a quarantine or avoid crowded malls during these pandemic times. Who knew holiday gifts could be so much fun?

Your Turn: What’s your favorite DIY gift hack? Share it with us in the comments.

How to Recognize and Protect Yourself From Scams

Scammers are always trying to con victims out of their information and money. They are, unfortunately, often successful. Scammers are expert impersonators, using sophisticated technology and their best acting skills to convince you they represent a business, institution or government agency you may trust. They also tend to prey on the most susceptible victims, including those who are down on their luck or are exceptionally naïve and trusting.

Here at Mutual Credit Union, our biggest priority is your financial wellness, and that includes keeping you and your money safe. To help you achieve it, we’ve put together this guide about recognizing the signs of fraud and protecting yourself from scams.

Five red flags of scams  

While the details surrounding the way a scam plays out can vary greatly, most follow a similar theme. They try to get victims to share personal information or to pay for a service or product that doesn’t exist. Here are five ways to spot a scammer:

  1. They demand detailed information before agreeing to process an application. A favorite ploy among scammers is asking for sensitive, non-public information like your date of birth, Social Security number and login information for online accounts. They will typically do this before processing any application for an alleged product, service or job.
  2. They insist on a specific method of payment. If an online seller or service provider will only accept payment through a wire transfer or a prepaid debit card, you’re likely looking at a scam.
  3. They send you a check for an inflated amount. Another favorite trick among scammers is to overpay a seller or “employee,” and then ask the victim to return the extra money. In a few days’ time, when the original, inflated check doesn’t clear, the victim realizes they’ve been conned but it’s too late to get back the “extra” money they returned.
  4. You can’t find any information about the company the caller allegedly represents. A scammer representing a bogus business can easily be uncovered by doing a quick online search about the “company.”
  5. You’re pressured to act now. Scammers are always in a rush to complete their ruse before you catch onto their act.

Who are the targets?

Scammers usually cast a wide net to ensnare as many victims as possible. However, lots of scams focus on a subset of highly vulnerable targets. Here are some of the most common targets of scams:

  • The unemployed. The internet makes it easy for scammers to learn that you’re looking for a job. If you’re job hunting, be careful not to respond to any emails offering you a “dream position” you never applied for or even knew about.
  • The aging. Older people are another favorite target for scammers. Retired individuals often spend lots of time online, making them more vulnerable to scams. Also, as relative newcomers to the online world, they may be less aware of the dangers lurking on the internet.
  • Children. Sadly, the youngest members of society are another huge target pool for scammers. Children are naturally trusting and will more readily share information with strangers, which can then be used to steal their identity. Small children will likely not be checking their credit for years, which means a stolen identity can go unchecked until the child grows into a young adult. By that time their credit can be wrecked, almost beyond repair.

What do scams look like?

Here are some of the most common scams:

  • Cyberhacking. In this scam, hackers gain remote access to your computer and proceed to help themselves to your personal information.
  • Phishing scams. Scammers bait you into sharing personal information via a bogus job form, an application for a service they allegedly provide or by impersonating a well-known company or government agency.
  • Mystery shopper. A bogus company will “hire” you to purchase a specific item in a store and then report back about the service experience. Before you get started, though, you’ll have to pay a hefty fee, which you’ll never see again.
  • Job offers. Scammers “hire” you for a position and then scam you by sending you an inflated check, as detailed above.
  • Sweetheart scams. A scammer pretending to be an online lover will con you into sharing your personal information and/or sending them money and gifts.
  • Fraudulent investments. Scammers reach out to potential investors with information about lucrative investments that don’t exist.

10 ways to protect yourself from scams

Keep yourself safe by following these rules:

1. Never share personal information online.
2. Don’t open unsolicited emails or text messages. If you already have, don’t click on any embedded links.
3. Never send money by insecure means to an unknown party.
4. Protect your devices by using the most up-to-date operating systems, choosing two-factor authentication and using strong, unique passwords for every account.
5. Choose the strongest privacy settings for your social media accounts.
6. Keep yourself in the know about the latest scams and learn how to protect yourself.
7. Educate your kids about basic computer safety and privacy.
8. If you have elderly parents who spend time online, talk to them about common scams and teach them to protect themselves.
9. Don’t take the identity of callers at face value, even if your Caller ID verifies their story. If a government agency, utility company or financial institution reaches out to you and asks you to share personal information, tell them you’ll contact them on your own and then end the call.
10. Never accept a job or agree to pay for a purchase or service without thoroughly researching the company involved.

Above all, remember the golden rule of scams: If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Once an individual falls prey to a scam, there is very little that can be done to mitigate the loss. Full financial recovery can take years. It’s best to protect yourself from scams before they happen by educating yourself and asking Mutual Credit Union for help.

Your Turn: How do you keep yourself safe from scams? Share your best tips with us in the comments.

Learn More:

www.fbi.gov

consumer.ftc.gov

consumer.ftc.gov/articles

wisebread.com

Friendly Holiday Scam Reminder:

Every year, about this time, we see an increase in fraudsters trying to hustle our members out of their hard-earned money. They’re constantly finding new ways to deceive good people and COVID has allowed for some additional challenges. Some areas that are often targets for fraud are: 

Zelle or BillPay money transfers to someone you don’t know. 

(Mutual will NEVER call and ask for your information) 

Spoofed phone numbers. Fraudsters love to copy phone numbers that you know and trust. 

(Mutual will NEVER call and ask for your information) 

Pretending to be a trusted service provider such as, Apple or Verizon. 

(They will never call and ask for your information) 

Emails asking for you to click to verify your identity 

(Even if they look legit, go directly to that website, DON’T click on any links) 

Some things to watch for that indicate fraudsters are trying to get your information: 

Calling or emailing at odd hours 

Spelling or grammatical errors and inconsistent speech patterns 

Creating a sense of urgency (Act now or you may be locked out!) 

Threatening adverse consequences if you don’t act (You will be fined, or you won’t be able to use the service) 

If you receive a call asking for information, tell the caller you will call back. Then, hang up and call your institution directly. DO NOT use any number the caller gave you, use the number you can find on the legitimate website, such as mutualcu.org.  

The holidays are a time of togetherness and happiness, don’t let a fraudster spoil this time of year. 

Beware the Pending Package Scam

Everyone loves a surprise package, and scammers are taking the excitement out of that experience by using bogus packages as a cover for a nefarious scam that tricks victims into sharing their personal information — and their money.

Here’s all you need to know about the pending package text scam:

How the scam plays out

In the circulating package delivery scam, the victim receives a text message from a contact who is an alleged mail carrier, or someone representing a package-delivery service. The contact tells the victim they were unable to deliver a package to the victim’s home. The message might claim the package is a gift from a friend or relative and may be worded professionally, making the scam difficult to spot.

The victim is asked to reply to the message to confirm their identity; however, as soon as they engage with the scammer, they will be asked to share their personal information or credit card details to schedule delivery. This, of course, places the victim at risk for identity theft.

In other variations of the scam, the victim is contacted by email or phone. In each scenario, the scam plays out in a similar manner, with the victim convinced there’s a package waiting for them, and willingly sharing sensitive data with a criminal.

Some scammers take the ruse a step further by sending the victim a text message or an email containing an embedded link. The victim is instructed to click on the “tracking link” to track the package or change their delivery preferences. Unfortunately, clicking on the link will download malware into the victim’s device. Alternatively, the link connects the victim to a form asking for their personal information, which the victim often shares willingly.

Red flags

There are two primary red flags that can serve to warn you about the pending package scam.

First, the original text, email or phone call, will generally not inform the victim of the identity of the company they represent. The scammer will only claim to be an employee of a mail or package delivery service, but will not verify if they work for UPS, FedEx or another legitimate organization.

Second, the scammers don’t always check if the victim actually has a package in transit. They’ll either assume the victim has recently ordered something online or they’ll claim a friend or family has sent a surprise gift. If you know that neither of these is true, you can be on the alert for a possible scam.

Don’t get scammed!

Take these precautions to avoid being the next victim of a pending package scam:

  • Be wary of unsolicited communications. Your mail carrier and package-delivery services will never contact you via text message or phone call. If a package cannot be delivered for any reason, they will usually leave you a note on the door.
  • Be wary of “professional” emails sent from unsecure addresses. Any online communications from the USPS or a mail delivery agency will be sent via their own secure domain. Always be suspicious of emails sent from unsecure addresses.
  • Track all incoming packages. After placing an order for an item, record the tracking number for the package so you can easily verify its whereabouts. This way, you can quickly confirm the authenticity of any suspicious texts, emails or phone calls about your package.
  • Never share personal information with an unverified contact. Be super-wary when asked to share sensitive information via text, or when online or on a phone call. If you suspect fraud, end the conversation immediately and do not engage further.
  • Never click on links in unsolicited emails. Links in emails can download malware onto your computer or device. Don’t click links in emails from people you don’t know or from companies you have not asked to contact you. Be wary of official-looking email; popular brands can easily be spoofed.

 If you’ve been targeted

If you believe you’ve been targeted by a pending package scam, it’s important not to engage with the scammer. Delete any suspicious text messages and block the number of the contact. Similarly, delete suspicious emails and mark them as spam. You can also report the scam to the local authorities and to the Federal Trade Commission. Finally, it’s a good idea to  warn your friends and family members about the circulating scam.

Your Turn: How do you determine if you’ve been targeted by a pending package scam? Tell us about it in the comments.

Paving the Path to Winning, One Brick at a Time

We are excited to participate in a NEW way of giving to the United Way of West Central Mississippi at Mutual Credit Union.  Starting Thursday, October 1st – Saturday, October 31st we are offering visitors to any Mutual CU branch or drive-thru the opportunity to contribute $1 or more to the United Way of West Central Mississippi. Those who contribute by donating a $1 or more will have their name written on a brick and posted around our teller lines. If you are not planning to visit a Mutual CU branch by the end of October, you can call 1-877-457-3654 option 0 for the call center Monday 0 Friday during normal business hours and they can assist you with your contribution. Just $10 weekly provides medical services to 10 individuals, $20 weekly provides 10 families in crisis with emergency assistance, $40 weekly provides food, shelter, & services to an abused child for one year.  

The United Way of West Central Mississippi is a 501(c)3 nonprofit serving Warren, Claiborne, Sharkey, Yazoo, Issaquena counties, and the tip of Madison Parish while working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks of a good life- a quality education, enough income to support a family, and good health. By bringing together people and resources to address these issues, and by attacking their underlying causes, the United Way hopes to make lasting, fundamental change for everyone. We measure ourselves not just by the amount of money raised for the community, but also by the impact we and our community partners have on changing community outcomes. 

For more information about the United Way, please visit their website at www.unitedwayvicksburg.org.

United Way of West Central MS COVID-19 Relief Program Assistance Numbers as of Sept. 28, 2020.

For more information about Mutual Credit Union, please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or call (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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Mutual Credit Union Celebrates the 72nd Anniversary of International Credit Union Day

On Thursday, October 15th, Mutual Credit Union, along with more than 56,000 credit unions around the world, will celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day). Celebrated for the first time in 1948, this annual event raises global awareness for the credit union movement through outreach, volunteering, fundraising and other ICU Day-themed activities. Credit unions bring financial inclusion and a promising future to people all over the world, and ICU Day is a chance to spotlight and celebrate these achievements.

To celebrate You and International Credit Union Day we INVITE members of Mutual Credit Union and the Public to visit any of our six branch locations for some Mutual CU goodies on Thursday, October 15, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Items will be distributed thru the drive-thru tubes, at teller windows, or in member services offices. Please follow this link for location details. Mutual Credit Union items are available while supplies last.

Celebrate with us in this worldwide movement that has made helping people its No. 1 priority for more than 160 years.

International Credit Union Day is brought to you by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Credit Union National Association (CUNA)—WOCCU’s direct member organization in the United States.

“This year’s theme for ICU Day is ‘Inspiring hope for a global community,” said Michelle Kamke, marketing projects manager at CUNA. “What better way to show how credit unions from across the world provide hope through financial services, education and support than to highlight how credit unions have advanced the lives of members during the economic uncertainty brought by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” 

Participating credit unions can showcase how members and non-members alike can turn to them for financial services, guidance and relief to overcome everyday hurdles, unexpected loss or disaster. You’re encouraged to share your ICU Day highlights with credit unions worldwide on social media using #ICUDay.

“Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, credit unions around the globe have continued to provide a high level of service to their members and demonstrated a generosity to their local communities that has set them apart from other financial institutions. We are truly inspiring hope for a global community. I can’t think of a better theme around which to celebrate International Credit Union Day 2020,” said Brian Branch, World Council of Credit Unions’ President and CEO.

In a year like no other, credit unions can embrace this day to celebrate how they are different and the difference they make.

About CUNA

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by 115 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit cuna.org. To find your nearest credit union, visit YourMoneyFurther.com.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions’ financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council’s impact around the world at http://www.woccu.org.

For more information about Mutual Credit Union please follow this link to our web page. Any additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or by calling (601) 636-7523 ext. 1220.

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PRESS RELEASE Roderick Bradford Named Branch Manager for the Cherry St. Branch

Press Release

Friday, September 18, 2020

Vicksburg, Miss. – – Mutual Credit Union is pleased to announce the selection of Roderick Bradford as branch manager of the Mutual Credit Union Cherry Street branch located in Vicksburg, MS effective August 31, 2020. Roderick is a graduate of Grambling State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management in 1999. He brings to Mutual Credit Union over 20+ years of management experience and over 7+ years of specialized experience in the financial services industry working for both Capital One and Chase Home Mortgage. Roderick serves in the Men’s Ministry at Calvary Baptist Church and is an active member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Roderick is a veteran of the United States Air Force where he served his country between 1989-1991.  

We are excited to welcome Roderick Bradford as one of the newest members of the Mutual Credit Union family.

For more information about Mutual Credit Union, please follow this link to our webpage. For additional questions, please contact the marketing department at marketing@mutualcu.org or call (601) 636-7523 ext. 1226.

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