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Keeping Deposits and Investments Safe

March 19, 2020

During this time of uncertainty regarding the international health crisis, we want our members to rest assured: your deposits are safe at a federally insured credit union. As the FDIC insures national banks, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) insures all credit union member deposits up to at least $250,000.

Federally insured credit unions (like Columbia Credit Union) offer a safe place for credit union members to save money. All deposits at federally insured credit unions are protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, with deposits insured up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor. Credit union members have never lost a penny of insured savings at a federally insured credit union. Additional information on NCUA share insurance coverage for consumers is available at MyCreditUnion.gov.

And speaking of saving, we want you to beware of COVID-19 financial scams making the rounds. We’ve touched on COVID-19 online scams in a blog post here, but we want you to be aware of investment-related schemes out there as well. The Securities Division of the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is reminding investors in Washington to beware of con artists seeking to capitalize on fear and uncertainty.

To help investors identify common telltale signs of possible investment fraud, the Securities Division suggests investors ask three questions before making a new investment:

  • First, is the investment being offered with a guaranteed high return with little or no risk? All investments carry risk that you may potentially lose some or all of your money. Anyone who says their investments have no risk is lying. No one can guarantee an investment return.
  • Second, is there a sense of urgency or limited availability surrounding the investment? If the offer is legitimate, it will be there later. If someone offers you a “can’t miss” investment opportunity and puts you on the spot, don’t be afraid to walk away.
  • Third, is the person offering the investment, and the investment itself, properly licensed or registered? For the same reasons you wouldn’t go to an unlicensed doctor or dentist, you should avoid unregistered investment salespeople and their products.

Investors are also encouraged to contact the Securities Division with any questions about the investment professional they are working with or the product being offered. We couldn’t agree more. The agency is available at 360-902-8760 and online at https://dfi.wa.gov/securities.

It’s important we all look out for each other, now more than ever. Know that Columbia Credit Union has your back.