BALANCE for your Financial Fitness

Pacific Cascade has partnered with Balance to help answer your financial questions. Check out Balance and see how we can help you become a more financially fit You!

Visit our Balance Library of all things financial.

Your Path to Financial Fitness Starts with Balance — we care about your financial wellness. That’s why we’ve partnered with industry-leading BALANCE to provide you with free access to expertly-crafted financial education and resources to help with your fiscal matters. And should you need, BALANCE can assist with confidential, no-cost financial counseling services to help you develop a sensible budget for managing spending and debt. For all your financial life stage changes and more, we—in partnership with BALANCE—are here to help. Visit Balance today.

What you will find when you visit our BALANCE page:

Programs: –Debt and Budget Counseling –Credit Report Review –Student Loan Coaching — Homeowner Coaching –Rental Coaching –Bankruptcy Coaching –Balance Track (learn the basics of personal finance) — My Balance (create a personal budget plan).

Resources: –Articles –Videos –Podcasts –Booklets –Calculators –Newsletters –Tool Kits.

Life Stages of Finances: –Getting Started — New Beginnings — Life’s Curve-Balls — Managing Debt — Retirement.

Free Webinars: Monthly Webinars covering a variety of helpful topics. Browse the different topics and sign up for the ones that fit your needs.

We’re very excited to announce our free webinars for January, February and March! Whether you’re an employee, member or friend, our webinars are packed with useful info, and are open to everyone. Just make sure to reserve your virtual seat.

JANUARY — Saving With Purpose:  Saving money is much easier with a goal in mind. This workshop shows you how to choose the right goals for you, and overcome barriers to achieving them.

Session 1: Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 10:30 am to 11:30 am (PST)– register here

Session 2: Thursday, January 17, 2019, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (PST)– register here

FEBRUARY — Your Credit Score: One of the most important numbers consumers have is their credit score; it affects the ability to purchase a home, buy a car, get a credit card, and other financial decisions — but it can also hinder them. This workshop reviews types of credit scoring models currently used including FICO, Vantage, non-traditional, and bankruptcy risk. Participants will understand why these mathematical assessments were developed and how they can use them to their advantage.

Session 1: Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 10:30 am to 11:30 am (PST)– register here

Session 2: Thursday, February 21, 2019, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (PST)– register here

 

Por favor visite nuestras páginas en Español para conocer mas sobre los servicios ofrecidos.

Scam Awareness from SS’s Jim Borland

Posted on  by Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Scam AwarenessSocial Security is committed to protecting the information and resources entrusted to us, including your personal information and investment. However, scam artists might try to trick you into sharing your personal information or money. We’re here to help you identify and report these kinds of schemes.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has a new web page with tips on how to protect yourself from theft schemes, how to report scams, and recent fraud advisories. This is in response to an ongoing phone scheme, where individuals receive a call with a recorded message claiming to be from the OIG.

The message states the individual’s Social Security account, Social Security number, frand/or benefits are suspended, and that they should call a non-Social Security phone number to resolve the issue. When the individual calls this number, an unknown person pressures them into providing money or gift cards to resolve a fabricated issue, such as a warrant for the individuals’ arrest. Social Security does not solicit your personal information over the phone or by email, or request advance fees for services in the form of wire transfers or gift cards. If anyone pressures you to provide personal information or money over the phone, just hang up.

If you suspect fraud, report it to the OIG on their website or by calling the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271.

For more than 80 years, Social Security has secured today and tomorrow by protecting what’s important to you. You can learn more about the tools we use to identify, prevent, and fight fraud.

Phishing Scheme: Trickbot

Beware — there’s a new phishing scheme that’s running wild out there. It’s called trickbot.  It comes disguised as a bill from a financial institution, and the perpetrators are getting pretty clever about having it look right – the right graphics, right colors, etc. It’s going to be hard to know it’s not real. It comes with an attachment that looks like it’s the bill in question, but it’s a Trojan instead. So please be extra vigilant. If you get a bill you’re not expecting, call (with a number you find somewhere OTHER than the email) and check on it before you click on any attachments!

Visit this website for more information.

Card Skimming: An ongoing problem

Card skimming is an ongoing and serious problem.  Long term, EMV (chip cards) will make skimming much more difficult and reduce the occurrence. Be aware of the terminal or ATM when you insert your card.

Be wary of card swipes that appear altered or have added device(s).  Rule of thumb, if you can wiggle it, it’s probably not right. When entering your pin at a terminal or ATM, guard your entry from view of others or cameras. Some devices have PIN pad enclosures to block the view of your PIN from observers, but most do not.

Just do your best to look for something wrong… If you think you have used a machine that you feel questionable, contact us at 541-343-6238.

Protecting your Personal Information on Mobile Devices

  • Whether you use a smart phone, tablet, or laptop on the go, we hope you take precautions to safeguard your personal information.
  • Mobile technology has made shopping and banking easier than ever, but it has also given the scammers the tools they need to capture login information and passwords, and to access contacts, texts and emails.
  • Although financial institutions and legitimate online retailers have systems in place to make transactions secure, it’s up to consumers to make sure they don’t make themselves vulnerable. All mobile devices are at risk to some degree of being hacked through free Wi-Fi spots and Bluetooth connections.

5 Steps to a More Secure Mobile Device

There are some things you can do to make yourself less vulnerable.  The Financial Industry Regulator Authority (FINRA) offers five tips to keep your mobile device information safe:

  1. Password-protect your phone or tablet

    This way, information is not easily accessed if it is lost or stolen.

  2. Don’t stay “auto-logged in” to your accounts.

    Even though it’s convenient, it increases the risk that an unauthorized user will access your account(s).

  3. Delete old account update texts from your financial institution.

    This will reduce your exposure to fraud.

  4. Report lost or stolen devices immediately

    Report to your wireless provider AND financial institution(s).

  5. Never provide personal information unless you initiate the contact with financial institutions.

    Banks, credit unions and credit card companies do not request account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other sensitive information through email or text messages.  If you’re not sure about a request, contact your financial institution by calling the number on the back of your debit or credit card.

Additional Tips

Consider installing software that allows you to erase the content of your mobile device from a remote location in case it goes missing.

Find more information and advice to protect your personal information here: