Scam of the Week: Exploiting the Coronavirus: A Sneaky Pandemic Relief Scam

A new phishing email—seemingly sent from your local government funding agency—is offering phony relief grants to those in need. What makes this scam especially sneaky is that the bad guys use a Dropbox link to disguise their malicious attachment. Dropbox is a legitimate and commonly-used file sharing service. Therefore, the email security filters that your organization has in place may not consider the link as a red flag–increasing the chances of this email landing in your inbox.

The phishing email urges you to click a Dropbox link so you can download a file that supposedly contains information about your relief grant payment. The link even includes an expiration date for an added sense of urgency. If you click the link, then, download and open the phony file, you’re taken to a look-a-like Microsoft 365 login page. If you enter any information on this page it will be sent directly to the scammers.

Remember these tips:

  • Never click a link or download an attachment from an email that you weren’t expecting. Even if the sender appears to be a legitimate organization, the email address could be spoofed.
  • Be cautious of unexpected deadlines. Scammers often create a sense of urgency to spark impulsive clicks.
  • Get confirmation before clicking a Dropbox link. If you feel the file could be a legitimate resource for your organization, reach out to the sender another way—like by phone—instead of trusting the email.

County of Kauai and KGEFCU Emergency Loan Financial Wellness Program

This program is for the County of Kauai and KGEFCU Emergency Loan participants. Through this program, you will learn to take charge of your finances so that you can repay your loan and build a solid financial foundation for your future.

As a benefit of being a KGEFCU member, we recommend that you take advantage of the one-on-one financial planning services provided by INPAC Wealth Solutions, provided at no cost to you.


To get started, please watch the intro webinar here.

Attend the Foundations of Financial Literacy Class here.


Topics will include:

  • Meeting Immediate Financial Needs
  • Personal Budget Workshops: Budgeting, Debt Management, Investing, Retirement Planning, Risk Management
  • COVID-19 The Coronavirus Virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) updates
  • Coping with Market Volatility
  • Updates and Doing our Best to Get Through This Financially
  • And many more

For more information on INPAC Wealth Solutions, or to schedule a one-on-one meeting, please  contact Delcie@dreamplanlive.com

Scam of the Week: Exploiting the Coronavirus: Phony COVID-19 Tracking

Countries around the world are developing COVID-19 tracking applications for mobile devices. These apps use digital tracking to help identify and notify users who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus. Only a handful of countries have released this kind of app to the public, but cybercriminals are already using them as inspiration for scams.

The bad guys are sending phishing emails and smishing attacks (phishing via text messages) claiming that you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Coronavirus. The message insists that you get tested and it includes a link that supposedly leads to a website where you can sign up for more information. The truth is, the link takes you to a malicious website that is designed to steal any information you enter and deliver it to the bad guys. Don’t be fooled!

Remember these tips:

  • Never click on a link from an email or text message that you weren’t expecting–even if it appears to be from a legitimate organization.
  • Think before you click. The scammers are expecting an impulsive click.
  • Stay up-to-date on local regulations and containment efforts through official government websites and trusted news sources.

Scam of the Week: Exploiting the Coronavirus: From Unemployed to Money Mule

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, unemployment numbers have skyrocketed. As usual, the bad guys are quick to take advantage of these hard times and are sending out phony work-from-home opportunities. Typically, these phishing emails contain grammar mistakes and offer minimal details about the hiring company and the job requirements. But the scammers still manage to grab your attention because the job opportunity includes a great paycheck.

Once accepted, these scammers ease the victim into their new “job”, by asking them to complete basic errands, but eventually, they’re given the task of transferring funds from one account to another. Typically, these are stolen funds and the unsuspecting “employee” is being used as a money mule. Even though these victims are unaware of the crime they are committing, they can still face hefty fines and prison time.

Remember these tips and share them with your friends and family who may be looking for work:

  • Be wary of emails with spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Never trust unusual requests or job offers. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  • If you feel you have been solicited to be a money mule, contact your local authorities or report the situation to the appropriate federal agency.

County of Kauai and KGEFCU COVID-19 Emergency Funds Loan

                

 

 


The County of Kauai and KGEFCU Community Partnership Emergency Funds Loan has been exhausted. We are no longer accepting applications. If you still need financial assistance, please visit our other loan page for different loan products. 

 

 

Lokahi Spotlight: Aloha Aina Juice Cafe

Lokahi Spotlight: Aloha Aina Juice Cafe

If you haven’t tried Aloha Aina Juice Cafe in Puhi shopping center, you are missing out. Healthy food choices are important as we are all trying to boost our immunity. If you’re not already a regular customer, you will be! Try the pre-made made wraps or salads which are filled with nutrients that are so filling, smoothies filled with anti-inflammatory purposes, and even Acai or Pitaya bowls, which are our personal favorites! ⁣

Lokahi translates to many hands working together. Aloha Aina Juice Cafe is one of our Lokahi Partners.

A few years back, Owner Misha Laney won the Kauai style Shark Tank called Catch A Wave sponsored by KGEFCU and hosted by The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay. Misha was able to buy a grab and go cooler filling it with healthy breakfast and lunch options. We, as a community, can support these small businesses.⁣ ⁣

Call in or order online at their website at www.alohaainajuice.com

Economic impact payments: What you need to know

No action needed by most people at this time

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment.

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019. This includes senior citizens, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.

Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.

I have a tax filing obligation but have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

Yes. The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?

The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

The IRS has a reduced staff in many of its offices but remains committed to helping eligible individuals receive their payments expeditiously. Check for updated information on IRS.gov/coronavirus rather than calling IRS assistors who are helping process 2019 returns.

 

COVID-19 Stimulus Scams

Congress has recently passed a large COVID-19 relief and stimulus package. As with other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters are exploiting the relief and stimulus to victimize the public. The U.S. Secret Service is observing a rise in stimulus relief fraud over the past several days and expects the fraud attempts to continue throughout the pandemic.

 

How to Identify Threat:

Criminal actors are using a variety of means to contact potential victims. In one instance, the criminal actors are using spoofed email addresses posing as U.S. Treasury officials requesting that the victim provide personal identifying information so that they can receive their share of the stimulus.

 

How to Protect Against This Threat:

The U.S. Secret Service stresses that individuals seeking information about the stimulus/relief program contact the specific government agency via its website for guidance. Individuals should follow protocols published by those government websites. During this time, it is stressed that the public maintains an increased vigilance when providing any personal identifying information or other privileged and protected

information.

 

Additional Resources:

The U.S. Secret Service is working with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners, along with the private sector, to disrupt and dismantle COVID-19 related fraud schemes. If anyone has any information related to this alert, the GIOC can be reached at GIOC@usss.dhs.gov.

73rd Annual Meeting – Virtual Notice

In light of health concerns during the COVID-19 mandatory stay at home order, our 2020 Annual Meeting of Members will be conducted by telephone conference call only. Members may participate in the Annual Meeting by telephone conference call, on the same date and time:

Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.
We suggest you call in a few minutes early. The line will be active beginning at 11:15 a.m.

 

To join the conference call, please dial 1 (669) 900-6833
When asked for the meeting ID, please enter 731 975 906 #

Then enter the password 069320

When you call in, you will be added to the meeting’s audio feed. Please note you will be automatically muted upon joining the call so that the speaker can be heard. You will be unmuted for portions of the meeting where members can speak.

If you have difficulty with the conference call, please call our Member Service Center at (808) 245-2463.

Download meeting materials:
2020 Agenda  |  2020 Standing Rules  |  2019 Minutes  |  2019 Annual Report