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COVID-19 RESPONSE


FEDERAL RESERVE LIMITING COIN DISTRIBUTION TO ALL DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS (July 16, 2020)

Effective Monday, June 15th, the Federal Reserve began limiting coin distribution to all depository institutions.  As a temporary measure, they have been allocating available supplies of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of their existing coin inventory.  

WHY THIS IS HAPPENING

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the U.S. Mint producing fewer coins than normal.  Also, many consumers have avoided using cash and coin during the pandemic and instead have been using contactless payment methods. Banks and credit unions have also seen a significant decline in coin deposits from consumers. Overall, there are less coins in circulation causing a shortage that is happening nationwide. 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU & WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Until the Federal Reserve removes limits on coin orders to financial institutions, we will not be permitting rolled coin withdrawals.  

Since the current coin shortage is affecting our local retailers as well as financial institutions, now would be a good time to start using alternative payment methods such as a debit card, credit card or mobile wallet service.  When possible, try to use exact change for your purchases or even pay for your entire purchase using coin.  We know situations like this can be frustrating, but if we continue to work together, we will get through this. 

For any questions, please contact us at 814-432-4091 or 814-676-4504.

COVID-19 RELATED SCAMS AND FRAUD (July 15, 2020)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, financial institutions of all sizes have been targeted by a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring exploiting the crisis to commit large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs. Initially, the primary state targeted was Washington, however, it is now known that many states, including Pennsylvania have been targeted as well.

Across the country, individuals are receiving fraudulent unemployment ACH deposits from states where they do not reside.  These deposits, all in different individuals’ names, have no connection to the actual account holder. A substantial amount of the fraudulent benefits submitted have used personally identifiable information (PII) from first responders, government personnel and school employees. It is assumed the fraud ring behind this scam possess a substantial PII database to submit the volume of applications observed so far. This fraud network is believed to consist of hundreds, if not thousands, of mules with potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Financial Institutions have also begun receiving ACH deposits for fraudulent Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans.  The Office of the Inspector General has provided information on Scams and Fraud Schemes for those looking to obtain legitimate SBA Loans. Report any suspected SBA fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online at, https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/oversight-advocacy/office-inspector-general/office-inspector-general-hotline.

NORMAL HOURS OF OPERATION! (July 1, 2020)

We’re excited to announce that beginning July 6, 2020, we will be returning to our normal hours of operation!  The lobby will continue to remain closed except by appointment only.  We will continue to encourage members to utilize the drive-thru as well as our wide variety of electronic services, however, we will be fully staffed and available for your banking needs!  We want to thank our members for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19. 

CONSUMER ALERT: CHECK YOUR CREDIT MORE OFTEN THROUGH COVID-19 EMERGENCY  (May 13, 2020)

Now more than ever, reviewing your credit history is an important way to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft.  Normally, consumers are permitted to access their free credit report once per year through each of the three major credit bureaus.  Now, through April 2021, consumers are permitted (and encouraged) to access these reports for free on a weekly basis. 

After visiting AnnualCreditReport.com and entering the prompted information, take these steps to ensure the accuracy of your report:

  • Verify all business names and payment dates are correct in the report’s transaction history;
  • Verify all addresses, additional lines of credit, and accounts are correct; Dispute any unfamiliar or incorrect information—the Office of the Attorney General sent a letter to credit reporting agencies reminding them of their obligation to resolve these disputes quickly for Pennsylvania consumers.
  • Consumers can sign up for text scam alerts, which offer tips for how to avoid becoming a victim of a scam, warn about new scams, or update subscribers on consumer protection issues.

Pennsylvanians can sign up for these tips from the AG’s Office here.

Pennsylvanians can also file a complaint about an active or potential scam here.

FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD ANNOUNCES INTERIM FINAL RULE TO DELETE THE SIX-PER-MONTH LIMIT ON CONVENIENT TRANSFERS FROM THE “SAVINGS DEPOSIT” DEFINITION IN REGULATION D

On April 24, 2020, The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) announced an interim final rule to amend Regulation D (Reserve Requirements of Depository Institutions) to delete the six-per-month limit on convenient transfers from the “savings deposit” definition. The interim final rule allows depository institutions, including credit unions, to immediately suspend enforcement of the six-transfer limit and to allow their customers/members to make an unlimited number of convenient transfers and withdrawals from their savings account at a time when financial events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have made such access more crucial.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

Until we receive additional guidance from regulatory agencies, Franklin-Oil Region Credit Union will be eliminating the six-per-month savings account transfer limit.  Additionally, we will be suspending any fees associated with previous Regulation D transaction limits.  We are optimistic that the interim final rule will eventually become final and that the elimination of the limits and fees will become permanent.  For a list of frequently asked questions, visit https://www.federalreserve.gov/supervisionreg/savings-deposits-frequently-asked-questions.htm.

POTENTIAL COVID-19 ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT SCAMS (04/10/2020)

As millions of American anticipate receiving economic impact payments in the coming weeks, the IRS offers the following information and tips to spot a scam and understand how the COVID-19 related economic impact payments will be issued.

  • The IRS will deposit your payment into the direct deposit account you previously provided on your tax return (or, in the alternative, send you a paper check).
  • The IRS will NOT call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do NOT give your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information to anyone – even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your check. It’s a scam.
  • If you receive a call, do NOT engage with scammers, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam. Just hang up.
  • If you receive texts or emails claiming that you can get your money faster by sending personal identifying information or clicking on links, delete these texts and emails. Do NOT click on any links in those texts or emails.
  • Reports are swirling about bogus checks. If you receive a “check” in the mail now, it’s a scam. It will take the Treasury a few more weeks to mail out the COVID-19 economic impact payments. If you receive a “check” for an odd amount (especially one with cents), or a check that requires you to verify the check online or by calling a number, it’s a scam.
  • In these uncertain and trying times, we need to remain vigilant. Please help us protect everyone in your community by telling family, friends and elderly neighbors to be on the lookout for these potential scams.  You work hard for your money, do NOT become a victim of these scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it is probably fraudulent.

    For more information, visit the IRS website at IRS.gov/coronavirus

TEMPORARY HOURS OF OPERATION

April 3, 2020

Effective Monday April 6th, our hours of operation will be temporarily changing.  Both branches will remain open for drive-thru and phone service and our lobbies will remain closed except by appointment only.  We encourage the use of online banking and other electronic services and want to remind members about our telephone banking system (VRU) that is available 24/7.  For more information about this and other available electronic services, click on “Electronic Services” from our main homepage.  We appreciate your patience and understanding during unique situation.

Temporary Hours of Operation

Monday – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday – 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Thursday – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM*

*Closing at Noon on Friday, April 10th for Good Friday

PANDEMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

March 27, 2020

As we continue to follow the COVID-19 Pandemic, we understand that some of our members may be experiencing financial hardship as a result. We want you to know that Franklin-Oil Region Credit Union is here F.O.R. YOU! If you find yourself unable to make your loan payment as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, please contact us at (800) 730-7771 or (855) 288-7182 before your payment due date to discuss what options are available specific to your situation. We are all in this together!

COVID-19 PANDEMIC NOTICE

March 17, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution and for the health of our members and staff, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close our branch lobbies to limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until further notice.  We will be open normal business hours and will serve our members through the drive-thru lanes and night deposits located at each branch, by phone, as well as with our wide variety of electronic services.  Transactions such as new accounts and loan closings will remain available and will be conducted by appointment only. 

We will continue to operate during our normal business hours and are fully staffed to ensure there is no disruption in service.  We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will provide our members with more information as it becomes available. 

We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, but we feel this decision is in best interest of our members and employees.  Please be assured that you WILL continue to have access to your financial resources.  We are here working F.O.R. YOU!  Thank you for your understanding and flexibility as we travel through these uncertain times together. 

During this time:

  • Drive-thru operations will be available during normal business hours.  For ID verification, please have you photo ID available upon request. 
  • Our Member Service Representatives are available to assist you by calling (800) 730-7771 or (855) 288-7182 during normal business hours.
  • Our dedicated Lending Team is available to take applications over the phone and applications can also be submitted at www.for-cu.com.  Real Estate related loan applications should not be submitted online.  Loan closings will be completed by appointment only.
  • You’ll have 24/7 access to your accounts online with options to pay bills, transfer funds, deposit checks and more using our Live Online Banking and Mobile Banking App.
  • You can make secure contactless purchases at participating merchants wherever your VISA© card is accepted.  Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay are all now available to use with your FORCU debit card and credit card. 
  • Our automated telephone system (VRU) will be available for balance inquiries, funds transfers and more by calling (814) 432-2846.
  • The ATM located at our Oil City branch will be available 24/7.  Current ATM limits will remain in effect. 
  • You can manage your FORCU credit card account at www.ezcardinfo.com
  • You can communicate with FORCU staff via email at info@for-cu.com or through the Credit Union’s Facebook page.
  • If you or your family have been impacted by COVID-19, FORCU is here to help.  We’re here to discuss solutions that may be available to you during this unprecedented situation. 
  • If you have questions about COVID-19, we recommend going directly to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov or the World Health Organization (WHO) at www.who.int.  These sources will give you the most up to date and accurate information regarding the pandemic.

We would like to remind you that your deposits at Franklin-Oil Region Credit Union are safe. FORCU is well-capitalized and financially strong. Further, your funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. You can estimate your share insurance by using the estimator tool on the MyCreditUnion.gov website.

We want to thank you for being a valued member of Franklin-Oil Region Credit Union.  Stay safe!