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Posted Rates Effective August 3
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2.70%

October Is Cyber Security Month

Visit https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/blg/index-en.aspx for more information

Mobile Device Security (October 15 2018)

https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/vds/sty-sf-mbl-en.aspx

Click to watch a video about mobile device safety

Cyber Security (October 8 2018)

https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/vds/20170424/index-en.aspx

Click to watch a short video about Cyber Security

6 things every student needs to know  (October 1 2018)

You’ve been back to school now for a few days and the excitement of seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and finding your way around have started to wear off. Now that student life is back in full swing, here are a few handy cyber tips to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t overshare. This includes a lot of things. Don’t share personal info online where just anyone could find it. Don’t post your schedule on Insta or Snapchat. Don’t be that meme of the person posted a pic of their first credit card on Twitter, and then shared their CVV number in a comment. Don’t post pics of that crazy frosh night event. Save them for the reunion.

  2. Make sure your passwords are strong and unique, at least eight characters long; better yet, use passphrases, and don’t use the same password for every account. If you’ve shared passwords with friends, now would be a good time to change them (the passwords, not the friends).

  3. Use official app stores to download apps and files. Malware and viruses can sneak onto devices by way of innocent looking app, ebook, or other media files. Follow the crowds: the more people who downloaded an app, the likelier it is that it’s legit.

  4. Don’t plagiarize. Don’t get someone else to write your papers. There are plenty of sites to help teachers detect plagiarism. Cite your sources (newsflash: Wikipedia shouldn’t be one of them)!

  5. When using dating apps, don’t get catfished. Make sure the other person is who they say they are. And when you meet up, meet in a public place.

  6. When using ride sharing programs like Uber or Lyft, public transit, or even just walking home late, send a friend or family member a text to let them know when you’ve arrived safely. There are a number of apps designed to help you get home safely.

 

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Scammers are targeting previous victims in hopes to scam them again. If a consumer has been victimized by a scam, they are likely to be targeted again with the recovery pitch. Scammers will target previous victims on the premise of increased vulnerability and the likelihood of obtaining additional funds. The recovery pitch involves scammers deceiving victims to believe there is an opportunity to recover funds lost in a previous scam (full or portion). Scammers may portray themselves as members of law enforcement, investigating agencies, bank employees, or lawyers to establish a sense of credibility.

 

Anti-Virus Scam

One form of the recovery pitch involves victims of the Anti-Virus Scam who previously paid scammers a fee to remove online threats, such as viruses from their computer. Victims are later called and advised the company has filed for bankruptcy and are offered a refund. Victims are asked to provide scammers access to their computer to process a refund via online banking. Furthermore, consumers are asked to log into their online banking. The consumer is told the screen will go black for a brief minute to process the refund however the scammer uses the opportunity to forward money from the victim's line of credit or credit card to their bank account, making it appear as if a refund was deposited. Moreover, the victim is told an error occurred and the refund was overpaid (example: refunded $2,900 Cdn instead of $290 Cdn). Scammers demand the victim refund the difference to correct the error. Victims will try to resolve the issue and send the monies only to later realize the original "refund" was actually a transfer from their line of credit or credit card. The victim is now responsible for the funds lost.

 

Bank Investigator Scam

Another form of the recovery pitch involves the Bank Investigator Scam. Consumers receive calls from scammers purporting to be from their bank or a major credit card provider. Victims are led to believe that a bank investigator is investigating unauthorized charges on their account to identify a suspect and refund the stolen funds. Victims provide remote access to their computer and online banking to allow the "investigator" to review any discrepancies or possibilities of fraud. The "investigator" will deposit money into the victim's account with instructions to wire/send the money internationally to see if anyone from the bank steals or intercepts the money. Requests of payment can vary, however they often include money service business transfers or wire transfers. Unbeknownst to the victim, the scammer will complete a transfer of funds from the victim's line of credit or credit card to their bank account to create a false pretense that the victim is using the bank's money. Once the victim sends money to recover the original unauthorized charges, they realize they have been scammed and are responsible for the funds lost.

 

The recovery pitch can take form using any scam. Whether it be a romance scam, prize scam, or one of the scams mentioned above, scammers may contact the victim to impersonate a lawyer and claim they can obtain lost funds for the price of legal fees. Victims will pay advance fees to assist in recovering lost finances.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Never pay an advance fee to obtain a refund.
  • Record all information – confirm who you are dealing with.
  • Conduct open source searches to cross reference information.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft refers to the preparatory stage of acquiring and collecting someone else's personal information for criminal purposes. Identity theft techniques can range from unsophisticated, such as dumpster diving and mail theft, to more elaborate schemes, such as phishing, job scams, loan scams, service scams, tax scams, bank investigator scams, and investment scams. Computer spywares and viruses, designed to help thieves acquire personal information, are an emerging trend.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Identity theft can occur over the Internet, telephone, via fax or regular mail. You should be particularly wary of unsolicited e-mails, text messages, telephone calls or mail attempting to extract personal or financial information from you.

  • Periodically check your credit reports, bank and credit card statements and report any irregularities promptly to the relevant financial institution and to the credit bureau.

  • During transactions, if you must hand over your card, never lose sight of it.

  • Always shield your personal identification number when using an ATM or a PIN pad.

  • Memorize all personal identification numbers for payment cards and telephone calling cards. Never write them on the cards.

  • Familiarize yourself with billing cycles for your credit and debit cards.

  • Trash bins are a goldmine for identity thieves. Make sure you shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage.

  • When you change your address, make sure you notify the post office and all relevant financial institutions (your bank and credit card companies).

     

What is identity fraud?

Identity fraud is the actual deceptive use of the identity information of another person (living or dead) in connection with various frauds (including impersonating another person and the misuse of debit or credit card data).

 

Criminals can use your stolen or reproduced personal or financial information to:

  • Access your computer/email

  • Access your bank accounts

  • Open new bank accounts

  • Transfer bank balances

  • Apply for loans, credit cards and other goods and services

  • Make purchases

  • Hide their criminal activities

  • Obtain passports or receive government benefits

  • Minimize the criminal's opportunities to obtain your personal information. Making yourself a harder target is the best defense. If you are a victim, do not panic, in most cases you will not be out any money.

 

While you probably can't prevent identity fraud entirely, you can minimize your risk. Identity fraud is on the rise and it can happen to anyone. By managing your personal information wisely, cautiously and with an awareness, you can help guard yourself against identity fraud.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • A creditor informs you that an application for credit was received with your name and address, however you never applied.

  • Telephone calls or letters indicate you have been approved or denied by a creditor for which you never applied.

  • You receive credit card statements or other bills for account you do not hold.

  • You are missing mail you regularly receive (credit card statements, banking statements).

  • A collection agency informs you they are collecting for a defaulted account established with your identity and you never opened the account.

 



Check out the new The Little Black Book of Scams 2nd edition. Great information for Fraud Awareness month.

http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/04333.html

 

 


Four scams currently target senior Canadians. Each scam is outlined below and includes warning signs and ways to protect yourself.

 

Prize scams

Canadian seniors are solicited over the phone, email, through the mail or via social media websites claiming that they are the winner of a large lottery or sweepstake. Recently, the CAFC has received reports where seniors receive a call from an individual who claims to represent "Reader's Digest", or "Publisher's Clearing House". Scammers advise that you have won a prize (cash and car) and in order to receive the winnings you are required to pay a small advance fee to cover taxes or legal fees associated to the win. After the fee is paid, no prize is ever received. Scammers target seniors, use their financial information to take over their accounts, which are then used to launder money and proceeds from other mass marketing fraud scams.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Legitimate lottery companies will never demand payments before releasing winnings.

  • You must purchase a ticket to win the lottery.

  • Consumers cannot win foreign lotteries unless they have specifically attended that country and purchased a ticket.

  • Beware of counterfeit cheques or other forms of payment the fraudsters will send to help cover fees – such as tax payment, lawyers' fees, customs, etc.

Emergency scams

Scammers use social media, the internet and phones to target potential senior victims with the emergency scam. Seniors receive a call claiming to be a family member or a close friend describing an urgent situation that requires immediate funds. Common themes have been that the family member (e.g. grandchild) was arrested or got into an accident while travelling abroad. Monies are required for hospital expenses, lawyer fees or bail. Usually the potential victim is instructed to send money via a money service business like Western Union or MoneyGram or through prepaid cards, like Green Dot Money Pack, Pay Safe, or other types of gift cards.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Confirm with other relatives the whereabouts of the family member or friend.

  • Police, judges or legal entities will never make urgent requests for money.

  • Never voluntarily give out family members' names or information to unknown callers.

  • Always question urgent requests for money.

Service scams

There are a variety of service scams targeting seniors but the most common involves consumers being tricked into having their computer cleaned or repaired. Scammers call and claim to be a representative from a well-known computer company such as Microsoft or Windows. The scammers will claim that the victim's computer is sending out viruses or has been hacked and must be serviced. The scammer will remotely access the victim's computer and may run programs or alter settings. The scammer will advise that a fee is required for this service and request payment by credit card or money service business. In certain cases, the scammer will transfer funds from the victim's computer through a money service business such as Western Union or MoneyGram.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Do not provide personal information on incoming phone calls. Verify the caller.

  • Microsoft will not conduct proactive outbound calls for computer repair.

  • Never provide unsolicited callers remote access to your computer.

  • Request a call back number, verify and do your due diligence.

Romance scams

Scammers steal photos and use dating sites and social media to lure potential victims into sending money for various reasons. The scammer will gain the trust of the victim through displays of affection and will communicate via phone, skype and email for months, if needed to build trust. The scammer will often claim to be working abroad, usually in a lucrative business venture. Eventually the scammer will want to meet with the victim in person. It is at this time that the scammer will inform them that they cannot afford to travel and will ask for money to cover travel costs. Another variation involves the scammer claiming that there is a medical emergency with a sick family member. They will then ask for money to cover medical expenses.

 

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Fraudsters want to develop a quick relationship. Be suspicious when someone you have not met professes their love for you.

  • Be wary when someone claims to be involved in a lucrative business but needs to borrow money for bills and expenses.

  • Be cautious when chatting with an individual who claims to live close but works overseas.

  • Do not cash cheques or send the person money for any reason, whatsoever!


Crooks are using phony traffic citations, sending out fake tickets or simply demanding money from victims over the phone, under the pretense of being from law enforcement. Now they have realized that teen drivers are a whole lot more vulnerable to this type of scam and, best of all, are unlikely to tell their parents about their supposed violation. Often the crooks threaten their victims with jail.

It is fairly easy for them to track down young drivers via social media or just by making random calls. Once they score a hit, they say something like, “Your car went through a red light camera. We tried to contact you, and as a new driver, you are going to go to jail or your license will be taken away unless you pay a $250 fine.” The fine, of course, must be paid via an untraceable prepaid debit card.

If you have a teen driver in your family, tell them about this scam (while emphasizing they should never run a red light!). The police never issue citations by phone, nor do they demand payment via debit cards. Also, warn them against posting their cell phone or car details online. Otherwise, these fake police officers can quickly put together a rather convincing call.


Practice safe social networking

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great way to stay in touch with family, reconnect with friends, share news and photos and broadcast what's on your mind.

They're also a great way for cyber criminals to find out information about you. After all, most people provide a lot of personal details like where they work, who they're related to, when they're on holiday, their address and so on without giving it much thought – making it easy for just about anyone to learn what they want to know about you. 

Tips to keep your private information private

Fortunately, it's just as easy for you to protect yourself and enjoy the experience by keeping these social networking safety tips in mind:

  • Check out the privacy and security settings of your social network and use them to control who sees what. Most have default settings which likely provide more access than you'd like. You can adjust settings to the highest possible level to protect your information and control who can see personal details (rather than "everyone" or "friends of friends").
  • Read the privacy policy carefully. Sometimes the wording can be confusing and you may allow the site to use your information without realizing it.
  • Never include your phone numbers, email address, home address, work details, your child's school or any other personal information on your profile page.
  • If someone you don't know tries to "friend" you, ignore it. There's no way to be sure they are who they say they are.
  • Before you post pictures, think about whether or not they're appropriate or give away too much information about you. For example, does that shot of the family barbeque show your street name in the background? Can you see your car's licence plate in the photo of you beside it?
  • Avoid geotagging photos. Most smartphones and many digital cameras automatically attach the exact location where a photo was taken – and when you share it online, the geotag can give away your address or let criminals know that you're on vacation, which could make your home a target for break-in. Check the manual of your device to turn off geotagging, and remove geotags from older photos with photo editing software.
  • Remember the more personal information you provide, the easier it is for a hacker to access it and potentially steal your identity (or for other criminals, like stalkers or sexual predators, to learn more about you). It's always a good idea to be discreet.
  • Ignore links that look suspicious, even if they're from friends. Your friend may not be aware of it, which means the link could be part of a phishing scam or contain malicious software.
  • About those suspicious links – don't be fooled by links that say things like, "You have to see this!" Chances are it's a hoax and you'll probably spam your entire friend list.
  • Don't mention things like going away on vacation, big purchases or events that include your address in your status updates. You may also want to delete messages from friends who mention these things to avoid the possibility of someone robbing your home while you're away.
  • Always log out at the end of a session, close your browser and clear your cache. Here are examples of how to do this:
    • In Firefox, go to Tools > Clear Recent History
    • In Internet Explorer, Go to Tools > Delete Browsing History
    • In Chrome, go to the wrench icon in the top right hand corner. Under the Bonnet > Clear Browsing Data
  • Never include banking information – not even the name of your bank.
  • The only one who should know your username and password is you. Once you give them to someone, they have total control of your account and can say and do things that could impact you.
  • Set up a separate email address just for your social networks, and use unique passwords.

Kinds of scams on social networks

New scams pop up on social networking sites every day, promising easy money, freedom from a 9 to 5 job, and amazing boosts to your social status. While they look tempting, many of these offers turn out to be schemes to spread viruses and spyware. The best advice? Click with caution.

Here are some of the most popular scams to be aware of:

  • Clickjacking – using catchy headlines like "find out who's looking at your profile" to get you to cut and paste a link into your browser, which then infects your computer and spreads spam to your contact list.
  • Fake polls – links that take you to a page outside of the social network and often ask for your mobile number. These are probably scams. (Check your bill for racked up charges!).
  • Phishing – attempts to get your username and password and may even set up fake pages to get you to sign in.
  • Phony message – often messages from the social network that say "urgent".
  • Money transfer – requests to wire money to someone you may or may not know.
  • Fake friend request – accounts that are set up just to send out spam.
  • Fake page – sometimes set up as a front for clickjacking and phishing, offering prizes for forwarding to friends.
  • Fake apps – often a cover for phishing, malware, clickjacking or money transfer schemes. When you "Allow", spam is spread through your network.
  • Popular scams – contain a link with a fake software update that downloads malware that infects your computer, hijacks your online profile and spams your friends. Lottery scams and "Nigerian 419" are popular examples.

While all of these scams exist, it doesn't mean you have to be nervous about social networking. The most important thing is that you think things through and use your intuition when it comes to anything suspicious.

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What is the IoT?

Many devices you use daily are connected to the internet. Not just smartphones and computers, but home appliances and systems, vehicles, TVs, portable electronics, and even wearable technology.

How the IoT affects your personal security

Many things connected to the internet send information about their use back to the manufacturer. They can also be hacked by outside parties. It's important to understand how to use the IoT without compromising your privacy or security.

Types of IoT technology

IoT in your home

Your entertainment, heating and cooling, and security systems (including baby monitors and toys) can be part of the IoT. But so can “smart” appliances in the kitchen, etc.

IoT on the move

It's not just smart phones. Wearable technology, like smart watches and fitness trackers, are common IoT wearables. Connected clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, and more may be coming soon.

Some cars and other vehicles are now connected to the internet. As well, cameras, gaming systems, pet trackers, and more.

How to recognize IoT devices

Many connected devices and appliances need to be set up using your phone or computer, and connected through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Electronics that send you notifications for software updates are connected to the internet. As is anything that you can track or control through your smartphone or computer.

How to safely use the IoT

  • Understand what personal information is being collected and why it's needed before you buy IoT devices or download apps. 
  • Put IoT devices offline when not in use, particularly anything with a camera or microphone
  • If you can, set the privacy controls so you aren't sharing information you don't want to
  • Change the default username & password of your smart devices to secure your home network.

Learn to #ConnectSmarter with the IoT at GetCyberSafe.ca

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Banking and Finance

 

A lot of people now choose to skip bank lines and opt for the convenience of banking online. After all, you can pay bills, check payments and transfer funds from anywhere – even on your mobile phone.

While the benefits outweigh the risks, you can never be too safe when it comes to your financial information and protecting everything you've worked hard for.

How cyber criminals get your information

The most likely place a cyber criminal can get your financial information is from you. That's right – you may hand it right to an identity thief without even knowing it.

Cyber criminals know banks go to extreme measures to protect your financial information, and their chances of getting into these systems are slim. So they phish, spy and hack their way into your information from other sources, piecing together what they need to access your financial accounts. Once they're in, they can take out a loan, buy a car and even get a mortgage on a house.

How to ensure safe Internet banking and investing

Keep an eye on your accounts without worrying that anyone else is with these Internet banking safety tips:

  • Your first course of action is to choose strong passwords for your banking and online investing accounts and keep them private.
  • Look for the lock symbol on the website or "https://" at the beginning of the website address (the "s" means "secure") to be sure the site is encrypted.
  • Never allow "auto fill" or "auto-remember" of your password or personal information.
  • Double check that your anti-virus protection and web browser are both the latest versions. If your software offers the option of automatic updates, take it. It's the best way to keep up to date.
  • Use a firewall and make sure it's set to "on". For example, Windows Firewall is on by default on the latest version of Windows, but make sure it isn't turned off: open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start button then the Control Panel; in the search box type "firewall" then click Windows Firewall; in the left pane, click Turn Windows Firewall on or off.
  • As soon as you're done banking, close the browser window, clear the cache (delete your browser history) and disconnect from the Internet. Here are examples of how to do this:
    • In Firefox, go to Tools > Clear Recent History
    • In Internet Explorer, Go to Tools > Delete Browsing History
    • In Chrome, go to the wrench icon in the top right hand corner. Under the Bonnet > Clear Browsing Data
  • When you're banking online, never use public Wi-Fi or public computers
  • Remember that legitimate banks and businesses will never ask for your personal information in an email, so be suspicious if you get this request.
  • Beware of "packet sniffing" – if more than one browser tab is open at a time, packet sniffer programs can see all of the information passing over the network and can potentially monitor:
    • Which websites you visit;
    • What you look at on the site;
    • Who you send e-mail to;
    • What's in the e-mail you send;
    • What you download from a site;
    • What streaming events you use, such as audio, video and Internet telephony; and,
    • Who visits your site (if you have a website)
  • Always enter the website address in the browser yourself – never use a link.
  • Review your account activity regularly and get in touch with your financial institution right away if you notice anything strange.
  • Don't believe everything you read in online newsletters, investing blogs, or bulletin boards. Fraud artists often float false information and "hot tips" as part of their efforts to rip-off investors or manipulate the market for a particular security.
  • When in doubt, call your bank about suspicious messages. Some spammers use variations on a bank's name, so it may look legitimate even when it's not. Verify by phone and don't reply to a suspicious message or click on a link that's in it.
  • Read the Internet security guides offered by banks to stay up to date
  • Find out about phishing and be aware of the latest scams.
  • Always log out completely.
  • When disposing of an old computer or other device, be sure to erase all personal data.
  • Download software and erase the hard drive yourself or hire a professional to wipe the hard drive clean.

Things to keep in mind while banking on the go

Using your mobile phone to do your banking can be a convenient way to manage your finances from anywhere. Most banks now provide an app that makes it easy to access your information and complete transactions, but before you log on make certain of the following:

  • Is your wireless network secure? If you're picking up a wireless signal at a hotel for instance, you may not want to send sensitive information.
  • Is your mobile banking application actually from your bank? Be sure it's the real thing and not a copycat.
  • Have you installed anti-theft technology on your mobile device, and backed up your data?
  • Does your device automatically lock after a period of time? If not, it's a good idea to set this feature and use a strong password for your mobile device.
  • Have you stored your passwords and banking information (branch #, bank address) on your mobile device? If you lose your phone, this information would go with it.
  • Are all of your apps and device software current? Consider verifying an app's authenticity with your bank in person or on the phone.
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Most Canadian Internet users feel vulnerable to online threats. And yet many people take risks online, such as opening email from an unknown source or not protecting personal information stored on a computer.

Take the time this October, during Cyber Security Awareness Month, to review your online safety practices. Cyber security matters to everyone, every day. You can do your part to make cyber space safer by taking the following simple steps.

1. Protect your identity

Use different usernames and passwords for different accounts. Make passwords harder to guess by combining letters and numbers, and change them regularly.

2. Turn on your firewall

Firewalls are the first line of defence: they block connections to unknown or phony sites and prevent viruses and hackers from accessing your computer. Your computer operating system has a firewall that can be turned on very easily.

3. Use anti-virus software

Install anti-virus software to prevent viruses from infecting your computer. This software should be updated regularly.

4. Block spyware attacks

Install anti-spyware software to prevent spyware from installing itself on your computer. This software should be updated regularly.

5. Install the latest operating system updates

Make sure that your applications and operating system (Windows, Macintosh, LINUX) are up to date.

6. Back up your files

Protect important files from viruses and physical damage such as flood and fire by regularly backing up your files on an external drive or removable media. Store it in a safe place.

7. Protect your wireless network

Wireless (Wi-Fi) networks are vulnerable to intruders if they are not protected once installed. Do this yourself, or ask an expert for assistance when you purchase a wireless router.

8. Delete emails from unknown senders

Never open emails or attachments from people you don’t know, and never follow any links to Web sites included in these emails. They might infect your computer with a virus or spyware. Delete such emails immediately.

9. Surf the Web safely

Be careful when sharing personal information such as your name, address, telephone number and financial information online. Check that Web sites are secure (such as when making online purchases) and that the privacy settings are turned on (such as when accessing or using social networking sites).

10. Get expert help

Call local police if you discover suspicious content online (such as child exploitation) or if you suspect computer crime, identity theft or a scam. If you need help maintaining or installing software on your computer, call a computer expert or a local supplier.

These tips are provided by Public Safety Canada.  Visit their website HERE for more info.

 

 

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