August 2020 Newsletter

Bellco has partnered with Zelle to bring you a safe and easy way to send money directly to family and friends in a matter of minutes1, even if they aren't a Bellco member2. Plus, your account information stays protected—you won't see the other person's account information, and they won't see yours.

Whether you need to split the cost of dinner3, send money to your college student, or pay the babysitter, Zelle is a convenient alternative to using cash or checks without any fees from us—and it's already available through online banking and your Bellco mobile banking app.

Click to watch the video

 

Benefits of Zelle for Bellco members

  • Funds are sent directly to the recipient's account whether they're a Bellco member or not2
  • There's no need to download a new app—you can send or receive money with Zelle right from your Bellco mobile app without fees
  • Sending money is easy. Once you are enrolled, select Zelle® from the Bellco mobile app, add your recipient's email address or U.S. mobile phone number, and send money directly to their checking account2
  • You have the ability to set up future and recurring payments4

To learn more about Zelle and to get started visit Bellco.org/Zelle.

Enrollment with Zelle® through Bellco, and an eligible Bellco account are required.
1 Transactions typically occur in minutes when the recipient's email address or U.S. mobile number is already enrolled with Zelle.
2 Must have a bank account in the U.S. to use Zelle.
3 Payment requests to persons not already enrolled with Zelle must be sent to an email address.
4 Scheduled or recurring payments sent directly to your recipient’s account number (instead of an email address or mobile number) are made available by Bellco Credit Union but are a separate service from Zelle and can take 13 business days to process.
Zelle and the Zelle related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.

Even the savviest consumer can fall prey to the skills of a con artist—most fraudsters are very good at what they do. Learning about the types of scams is one of the best ways to avoid being a victim of one. Here are five of the most common cons these days.

1. Recruitment scams. This is often directed at teens, young adults, and the unemployed because of the lure of cash. Posing as someone with excessive wealth, the fraudster promises easy money or employment if the victim will provide personal information such as banking access or a debit PIN. Before the victim recognizes the fraud, the scammer has already run off with their cash and the victim is on the hook for any loss.

2. Romance scams. People looking for love can often find themselves trusting potential mates a little too soon. In this scam, the con artist claims to be overseas or otherwise unable to meet face to face; after falsely developing a relationship—usually online—the scammer tells a tale of hardship and asks the victim to wire funds or divulge bank information to help the scammer out of the “bind.” By the time the victim uncovers the scheme, they’ve already lost their money. 

3. Grandparent scams. Playing on a grandparent’s love, the scammer claims to be a grandchild in some sort of distress that requires that the grandparent wire funds. Unfortunately, with wire transfers, it’s difficult to recoup any money.

4. Investment scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Frequently targeting retirees, fraudsters will present an investment that promises huge returns with low or no risk. Scenarios can include real estate, cryptocurrency, and stocks, as well as Ponzi or pyramid schemes. Watch out for vague details, a “guaranteed” return, lack of communication, legal threats, and promises of “inside information”—all are clues that the scam is fake. 

5. Tech support scams. In these days of ubiquitous technology—from computers to television to home security—scammers believe they have an in with potential victims by posing as tech support. Using pop-up ads and telephone calls, they’ll request access to the victim’s technology and will claim to install security software. However, once on the computer, the scammer can access personal data and other sensitive information, often draining victims of hard-earned savings. 

To safeguard yourself from these frauds or other scams, be sure to follow these tips:
1. Send money only to people you know personally. 
2. Confirm that the person’s intentions are legitimate. 
3. Refuse requests to wire money unless you’ve had a longstanding personal and face-to-face relationship. 
4. Refuse requests to keep transactions secret—be sure to verify the story with others. 
5. Don’t let yourself be rushed into releasing funds or personal data—pressure tactics are a red flag of fraud. 

As a not-for-profit, Colorado-based financial cooperative, Bellco is committed to providing tools and resources to help our members and the community feel financially empowered. One way we've done this is by collaborating with Denver 7 to provide communities across Colorado with helpful financial tips.

In a recent Denver 7 newscast, reporter Eric Lupher explains how online and mobile banking options have become more secure, more socially distant, and more convenient during the pandemic. You can view the segment below:

By CUSO Financial Services, L.P.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the American worker in unparalleled ways. If you’ve experienced a layoff, you may be wondering what the best approach is when deciding what to do with your 401(k) account. Since your 401(k) may be a significant portion of your retirement savings plan, it’s important to carefully consider your options before making a decision.

There are three general options for dealing with 401(k) funds:

1.Leave the funds with your former employerʼs plan.
In most cases, leaving your job doesn't mean your 401(k) has to move. It sounds simple, but this may be a very costly choice. You may have fewer investment options than if you moved your money to an IRA and you may be stuck paying high plan fees without the benefit of an employer match to help offset the fees.

2.Roll the funds into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
An IRA may give you more control over your investment dollars and more investment options. While IRAs enjoy the same tax-deferred compounding as most qualified savings plans, such as a 401(k), they typically offer a wider range of investment choices, and these could potentially translate into a better retirement plan for you over the long term. You can ask your employer for a direct rollover into your IRA to avoid paying any penalties. 

3.Withdraw the funds. 
Normally, you pay a 10% penalty on early withdrawals from a 401(k), in addition to being taxed at your ordinary rate on withdrawn funds. But the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) allows you to take up to a $100,000 withdrawal without owing this penalty if you face financial hardship due to COVID-19.You can also spread out your tax payments on the withdrawal over three years.

But while you can take at least some money out of your account without penalty, the ordinary income taxes you'll owe could still be quite high. Plus, you lose the chance for the withdrawn funds to potentially continue growing. 

If your work has been affected by the coronavirus and you have questions about your 401(k) account, we invite you to schedule a time to speak with a CFS* Financial Advisor. Call 303-728-3443, email cfsinvsrefs@bellco.org, or stop by any Bellco branch to schedule an appointment.

*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor.  Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Bellco Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. 

Before deciding whether to retain assets in an employer-sponsored plan or roll over to an IRA, an investor should consider various factors including, but not limited to, investment options, fees and expenses, services, withdrawal penalties, protection from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum distributions, and possession of employer stock.

CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS), does not provide tax or legal advice. For such guidance, please consult your tax and/or legal advisor.