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    Come Shred Your Confidential Documents at Southside Branch!

    Last updated 1 day 14 hours ago

    Our Southside branch is located at 9700 Touchton Rd, behind the Gate gas station near the corner of Southside Blvd and Touchton Rd. (Near Tinseltown)

    Bring your personal documents to be safely and securely disposed of. Shred Services Provided by Iron Mountain.

    Note: Please limit weight to 75lbs of documents per person.

    Stop by anytime Saturday, April 19 from 9am until Noon!

    Not in your area? Watch for other locations in the future.

    Check Out This Great Testimonial From One of Our Business Members!

    Last updated 3 days ago

    We love to hear feedback like this from our Business Members! 121 Financial Business Services offers a wide variety of products and services for small businesses. Explore our many different business products and services!

    “Thanks to 121, I have grown from one tow truck to eight. And when I go into the office, I’m welcomed by name like I’m their most important business account. I really like that one-to-one relationship.”

    Doug Dixon of Dee-Way Towing


    121 Financial Credit Union and News 4 Jax Bring you 4 Your Money!

    Last updated 4 days ago

    Larry Rouse, director of information systems for 121 Financial Credit Union talks about ways scammers try to take advantage of the scale of the Internet, and the elderly are especially vulnerable.

    Check the link here for all the details!

    121 Financial Warns Of 10 Major Scams Directed At Senior Citizens

    Last updated 15 days ago

    Jacksonville, Fla.; April 2, 2014 – As a community service, 121 Financial Credit Union conducts informative seminars to help individuals with their finances. In a recent seminar, “Caring For Aging Parents,” Joan Bleacher, Risk Management Officer for 121 Financial, provided a program that warned about the 10 major scams directed at senior citizens.

    1. Health Care/Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud

    Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money.

    In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money. 

     Note: Your Medicare ID number IS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER.  Do not carry your Medicare card with you unless you’re going to a doctor or hospital where they would need to see it.

    2. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

    Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications. This scam is growing in popularity, since 2000, and the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year, up from five a year in the 1990s.

    The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person’s medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet.

    3. Funeral & Cemetery Scams

    The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.

    In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

    Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members’ unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill. In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket.

    4. Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products

    In a society bombarded with images of the young and beautiful, it’s not surprising that some older people feel the need to conceal their age in order to participate more fully in social circles and the workplace. After all, 60 is the new 40, right?

    It is in this spirit that many older Americans seek out new treatments and medications to maintain a youthful appearance, putting them at risk of scammers.

    Whether it’s fake Botox like the one in Arizona that netted its distributors (who were convicted and jailed in 2006) $1.5 million in barely a year, or completely bogus homeopathic remedies that do absolutely nothing, there is money in the anti-aging business.

    Botox scams are particularly unsettling, as renegade labs creating versions of the real thing may still be working with the root ingredient, botulism neurotoxin, which is one of the most toxic substances known to science. A bad batch can have health consequences far beyond wrinkles or drooping neck muscles.

    5. Telemarketing

    Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average.

    While the image of the lonely senior citizen with nobody to talk to may have something to do with this, it is far more likely that older people are more familiar with shopping over the phone, and therefore might not be fully aware of the risk.

    With no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly hard to trace. Also, once a successful deal has been made, the buyer’s name is then shared with similar schemers looking for easy targets, sometimes defrauding the same person repeatedly.

    Examples of telemarketing fraud include:

    “The Pigeon Drop”

    The con artist tells the individual that he/she has found a large sum of money and is willing to split it if the person will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from his/her bank account. Often, a second con artist is involved, posing as a lawyer, banker, or some other trustworthy stranger.

    “The Fake Accident Ploy”

    The con artist gets the victim to wire or send money on the pretext that the person’s child or another relative is in the hospital and needs the money.

    “Charity Scams”

    Money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after natural disasters.

    6. Internet Fraud

    While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among some older people makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the web and email programs.

    Pop-up browser windows simulating virus-scanning software will fool victims into either downloading a fake anti-virus program (at a substantial cost) or an actual virus that will open up whatever information is on the user’s computer to scammers.

    Their unfamiliarity with the less visible aspects of browsing the web (firewalls and built-in virus protection, for example) makes seniors especially susceptible to such traps.

    One example includes email/phishing scams where a senior receives email messages that appear to be from a legitimate company or institution, asking them to “update” or “verify” their personal information. A senior receives emails that appear to be from the IRS about a tax refund.

    7. Investment Schemes

    Because many seniors find themselves planning for retirement and managing their savings once they finish working, a number of investment schemes have been targeted at seniors looking to safeguard their cash for their later years.

    From pyramid schemes like Bernie Madoff’s (which counted a number of senior citizens among its victims) to fables of a Nigerian prince looking for a partner to claim inheritance money to complex financial products that many economists don’t even understand, investment schemes have long been a successful way to take advantage of older people.

    8. Homeowner/Reverse Mortgage Scams

    Scammers like to take advantage of the fact that many people above a certain age own their homes, a valuable asset that increases the potential dollar value of a certain scam.

    A particularly elaborate property tax scam in San Diego saw fraudsters sending personalized letters to different properties apparently on behalf of the County Assessor’s Office. The letter, made to look official but displaying only public information, would identify the property’s assessed value and offer the homeowner, for a fee of course, to arrange for a reassessment of the property’s value and therefore the tax burden associated with it.

    Closely related, the reverse mortgage scam has mushroomed in recent years. With legitimate reverse mortgages increasing in frequency more than 1,300% between 1999 and 2008, scammers are taking advantage of this new popularity.

    As opposed to official refinancing schemes, however, unsecured reverse mortgages can lead property owners to lose their homes when the perpetrators offer money or a free house somewhere else in exchange for the title to the property.

    9. Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams

    This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

    Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize. Often, seniors will be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account, knowing that while it shows up in their account immediately, it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected.

    During that time, the criminals will quickly collect money for supposed fees or taxes on the prize, which they pocket while the victim has the “prize money” removed from his or her account as soon as the check bounces.

    10. The Grandparent Scam

    The Grandparent Scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts.

    Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research.

    Once in, the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which don’t always require identification to collect.

    At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”

    While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds, the very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer.

    121 Financial Credit Union offers full banking and loan services to any individual and small business located throughout Northeast Florida. Established in 1935, 121 Financial Credit Union has over 40,000 members.

    New Member Referral Rewards!

    Last updated 17 days ago

    Current members get $50 for referring someone new to 121! Also, the new member gets $50. Rules do apply so please contact your representative with any questions. You can find the referral form at the link here! 

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