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Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

Be Wary of Tax Return Scams

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

As we all know, unfortunately there are some not-so-nice people out there. Tax season seems to be a time they come out. Looking to steal money or account information, please be wary of scams. Trust your gut if something doesn’t seem right.
Here are some tips to help protect yourself from tax fraud:

During a tax scam, usually an individual calls on the phone or sends an email presenting themselves as an employee of the IRS or your state’s tax authority, under the guise of wanting to “help” with your tax filing. Usually this type of tax scam involves an unsolicited, bogus email regarding your tax refund or bill, or threatens an audit if you do not pay. These tax fraud emails also typically include the tax service’s name and official seal, and often link to a phony website in order to appear to be more official.

Please be wary of ANY emails or phone calls you receive from someone claiming to be an employee of the IRS or State, especially those that demand you pay immediately.

The Internal Revenue Service and your state’s tax authority will NEVER:

  • Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text, or through social media outlets to ask for your personal or financial information.
  • Require that you pay your taxes with a certain payment type, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Call you and demand immediate payment. (The IRS or State will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.)

If you receive an email about your federal or state taxes:

  • Don’t reply to the message.
  • Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov and then delete the email.
  • Don’t open any attachments or click on any links, as they may contain a malicious code or virus that will infect your computer.
  • Check the website of your state’s tax return office to see how they recommend you report an attempted scam involving your state tax filing.

If you receive a call about your federal or state taxes:

  • Ask for a contact number and an employee badge number and then call back to verify its legitimacy
  • Call the IRS or the office of your state’s tax authority to inquire further.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA’s IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission through the FTC Complaint Assistant on their website (add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your report).

For more in depth information on how to detect or report tax scams, visit http://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing.

Actual Balance versus Available Balance

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

76754637Ever catch yourself overdrawing your account and you could have sworn that money was in there? Here’s what may have happened. If you made a check deposit after 2:00 p.m. at many financial institutions that money is actually not available until the next business day. If it’s a Friday, you’re not seeing it until Monday! This means if you had $40 in your account and deposited $100 (after 2:00 p.m.), your actual balance is $140, but your available balance is still only $40. If you go grocery shopping that night and spend $75, you’ve just overdrawn your account.

If you’re depositing a check for a large amount, or from an unfamiliar business, there may be a hold placed on the check. On average this can be from 3 – 5 days. While it may seem unfair at first, this is actually done to protect you. You would not want to go spending that money and have the check not clear. Then you would be on the hook to pay overdraft fees on the money you spent that never actually made it into your account. The good news is we will notify you if a check is being held so you should be aware that those funds are not yet available.

With First Source, here are some instances that this will not happen. 1. If you deposit cash versus a check. Cash will always be available immediately, including Saturdays. 2. If you deposit a payroll check. These funds are always available immediately.

What about an ATM deposit? No matter how much you deposit through an ATM, (check or cash) only $200 is available immediately per day. The full amount is available after 2 days. So if you deposit $500 on Wednesday, you’re actual balance is $500. But your available balance is only $200 on Wednesday and Thursday. Your available balance will jump up to $500 on Friday.

Sometimes the actual date a transaction happened can vary from the date when the place you’ve spent the money pulls those funds. You may go to dinner on a Saturday night and spend $50. That $50 may not actually be withdrawn from your account until Tuesday. It’s up to you to know that you’ve already spent it. The best thing you can do is keep your register current and check your balance frequently online.

Credit Card Tip #3: Check both perks and penalties

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

If you travel, make sure the card is accepted worldwide and can give you cash advances if you need them. And check the policy on international purchases—some charge extra fees. Sometimes your agreed-upon APR (variable or fixed) is only as good as your timely payments. If you’re late, that agreement may be void—percentages can get tacked on, and fees added. See how long you have to make a payment. How is the minimum payment due calculated? Some are flat fees and some are percentage-based. What’s the grace period? Do they offer purchase/fraud protection? If you have an issue, can you make a local phone call to easily get it resolved? Don’t take anything for granted.

Want to learn about our First Source Platinum Visa®?
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5 Tips for Teaching Your Children About Money

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

We all want our children to grow up making smart financial decisions, so here are a few easy tips to get your children started early learning skills they’ll use for a lifetime.

  1. Start them early, as soon as they can count. Use money to practice counting (and eventually multiplying or using percentages). Have regular discussions about money—saving, spending and investing. Set goals, then set a great example!
  2. Take them to the credit union to open their own account. It’s a great opportunity to explain how savings works. Don’t forget to take them to withdraw money every so often to purchase something they really want. Show them how they have less afterward, and how spending decisions work: spending for one thing means you won’t have money (or as much) to spend on something else.
  3. When they’re old enough, give them an allowance, along with rules for saving some portion every week, and why charitable giving is important, too.
  4. Use shopping as a way to teach them how to spend money wisely (grocery shopping is great). Show them that finding discounts, using coupons, and comparing products and prices can save money.
  5. As they get older, have them work to make their own money (babysitting, paper route, etc.). There’s no better way to learn the value of money than seeing how much work it takes to get it.

There are also many websites with online games and tools to help kids and teens learn about finances online. Good luck raising your financial genius!








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