Member Newsletter

Sound waves and person speaking

Familiar voice could be a scam

You may think it would be hard to trick you, but artificial intelligence — or A.I. — actually makes it very easy for thieves to pretend they are someone you know and try to scam you.

The federal government receives millions of fraud complaints about scams each year, with consumers losing nearly $9 Billion. Many victims are too embarrassed to even report scams, so the losses are likely much higher.

One way A.I. is used to scam is with voice cloning captured from numerous publicly available examples of someone’s voice such as answered “wrong number” calls and social media videos. Scammers only need about 30 seconds of anyone talking to clone a person’s voice and then use that voice to say anything they want. 

Protect yourself from voice cloning

Click here to watch a disturbing recent news segment that demonstrates the dangers of A.I. voice cloning. Always remain calm and thoroughly verify if you are ever contacted by someone you know with an urgent or “emergency” need for money.

Share this important information with your family and friends to help prevent A.I. voice scams.

Series of headshots of dogs, cats, and guinea pigs

50+ pets in fur-ever homes thanks to you

If you carry our Visa Credit Card, it’s probably because you appreciate its super low rate. But did you know it’s also saving lives?

Since 2016, we’ve donated over $15,000 to Marin Humane. These dollars were used to pay the adoption fee for an animal in need every month. In that time, we’ve sponsored dogs, cats, kittens, guinea pigs and rabbits. Best part — every animal we’ve sponsored found their fur-ever home.

We’re proud to partner with Marin Humane, which does so much amazing work. From adoptions to medical clinics and emergency response, its work is invaluable. We encourage you to read Marin Humane’s magazine, Lives Made Happy, to learn more.

We are grateful to our Visa Credit Cardholders for making this program possible. You can learn more about our card and this program. And be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram where we also feature the happy going-home photos like the one below.

Three people with the dog they adopted from Marin Humane

You’re invited to our Annual Meeting

All members are invited to our Annual Meeting, being held Thursday, July 18, at 5:30 pm in our office. We’ll have updates on our year, plans for the future, as well as light refreshments and door prizes. Join us to hear a progress report from your Board of Directors and CEO, followed by an election of officials. There will be light refreshments served and door prizes will be awarded.

Women looking at shoes in a store

Why ”Buy Now, Pay Later“ is not your best option

Stores and online merchants love to offer shoppers their “Buy Now, Pay Later” (BNPL) option for reasons that mostly benefit them.

BNPL doesn’t help you build a good credit history — Your timely BNPL payments are not reported to credit bureaus, so they don’t help you build good credit. But, vendors do report late payments, which hurts your score.

Autopay is usually the only option — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that most BNPL lenders require autopay of the loan — meaning payments are pulled from your account whether you have it or not. This likely leads to overdraft or bounced check fees from your bank, and a late fee from your BNLP provider if the payment fails.

Causes impulse overspending — Thinking of a purchase in smaller payments often encourages shoppers to overspend or buy unneeded items just because. This is why BNPL is pushed on shoppers before they have a chance to really consider a purchase at all.

Returns are a hassle — If you return an item purchased with a BNPL loan, you may have to continue making payments until the merchant confirms details with the lender. 

Hidden fees and budget problems — According to a Stanford University report, BNPL users tended to incur more late fees, overdraft charges, and higher credit card interest rates. Why? The assumption is that consumers are diverting funds they would normally use to repay credit cards or other loans to pay a BNPL loan.

The Stanford report noted that BNPL users typically paid $176 to $252 in extra charges each year.

There’s always a better option than BNPL

We want members to be aware of the downsides and risks of BNPL, and talk to us about better options to afford things you want. Contact us anytime to see how we can help you.

Teller showing member how to use mobile appWinner six years running

We’re not in this for the awards, but we do ❤️ being voted a Marin IJ Readers’ Choice Awards favorite six years running. Thank you for voting for us and for supporting your member-owned credit union.

As Marin County’s Credit Union, we’re focused on making sure you get the best value and award-winning service.

Refer us and get $50

We’re offering you $50 for each qualifying new member you refer — and your referral gets $50, too. Start referring now — there’s no limit.