Sponsorship March 2024

South West Slopes Credit Union is proud to be able to provide sponsorship during the month of March to the following local community groups and clubs: Lions Club of Young Young and District Multicultural Association Incorporated Young Lady Golfers Temora Rugby Union Club Temora Junior Australia Rules Football Club Harden Junior Red Devils    


Telephone Banking to be discontinued on the 31st of March 2024

For many years SWSCU’s automated Telephone Banking platform served as an efficient way for members to check their balances and transfer money between accounts from the convenience of their landline or mobile phone device.   Due to a decision by SWSCU’s provider, this service will be discontinued for all of their customers in Australia. This means effective from the 31st of March 2024 as a consequence SWSCU members will no longer have access to Telephone Banking services.   We understand that this may cause some inconvenience for some members, but there is some good news. Technology has come a long way since Telephone Banking was first introduced and SWSCU have endeavoured to stay current with member trends and demands. SWSCU has added new services to their digital banking offerings such as the new SWSCU App which includes How I Spend and Savings Goals not to mention the inclusion of Digital Wallets via provider such as Apple, Samsung and Android.   Members who are actively using Telephone Banking are asked to register for an alternative service before 31st March 2024 to prevent disruption to their banking.

Financial advice

Bank impersonation scams robbing Australians of their life savings

Consumers are being warned to be wary of phone calls and texts that appear to be from their bank, following alarming reports of Australians losing their life savings to a highly sophisticated impersonation scam. Reports to the ACCC’s Scamwatch indicate scammers are using new technology to trick their victims, by making the call appear to come from the bank’s legitimate phone number or by sending a text that appears in the same conversation thread as genuine bank messages. Scamwatch received 14,603 reports about bank impersonation scams in 2022, resulting in more than $20 million in losses. Total losses to phone and text scams increased significantly last year, with over $169 million lost. “We are incredibly concerned about bank impersonation scams because they can be so convincing, they are very hard to detect,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said. “What’s equally worrying about this particular scam, is that it is emptying every last cent out of victims’ savings accounts, with losses averaging $22,000 and more than 90 reports of losses between $40,000 and $800,000. This causes both financial and emotional devastation.” “We know of a man who lost over $500,000 after receiving a call from someone claiming to be from a major bank’s security department, wanting to know if a payment had been authorised.” “In another case, a man lost $38,000 after receiving a scam text message about a suspicious transaction. The scam text appeared in the same conversation thread as legitimate messages from his bank. He called the number in the text and was put through to a member of the banks’ fraud team. Unfortunately, it was an elaborate scam and he lost everything,” Ms Lowe said. Bank impersonation scams impersonate the big four banks as well as other financial institutions. Communications often have a sense of urgency to them, such as fraudulent activity raising red flags, or a frozen account. “It is critical to remember that no matter how legitimate the call or message seems, a bank won’t ask you to urgently transfer funds,” Ms Lowe said. “If you receive an SMS with a telephone number to call, do not use it. Instead, call your bank direct on a number you have sourced yourself. Likewise, hang up if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank requesting you to transfer money to ‘keep it safe’. Ask for a reference number and call your bank back using contact details you have found independently.” Never provide online banking passwords, one-time security codes, pins or tokens to anyone over the phone. Contact your bank or financial institution immediately if you think you have been scammed. “Following recent mass data breaches, many Australians were encouraged to monitor their accounts for suspicious activity. Sadly, this has led to consumers acting on these scam calls and text messages out of fear that their accounts have been compromised,” Ms Lowe said. Top tips for avoiding scams Stop – take your time before giving money or personal information. Think – ask yourself if the message or call could be fake? Protect – act quickly if something feels wrong. Contact your bank and report scams to Scamwatch. Signs of a bank impersonation scam There is a sense of urgency or threat to the message – “your bank account has been accessed”, “your bank account has been locked” “a payment has been made from your account. If this was not you, please call (phone number)”. The message looks different to other messages in the SMS thread, such as different wording or phrases used. The message may contain a suspicious looking link. Never click on links. The SMS has a telephone number to call – always find your bank’s phone number independently. The caller will tell you to transfer money to a different account to ‘keep it safe’ or for ‘further investigation’. This is not standard procedures for a bank. It is a scam. Background Scamwatch is aware of scammers impersonating banks using ‘spoofed’ phone numbers and sender IDs (also known as alpha tags). Spoofing is where software is used by scammers to copy the phone number or sender ID of a business. These scams are a sophisticated form of phishing and are designed to trick victims into contacting the scammers. Both outgoing and incoming phone numbers can be spoofed. Scamwatch has seen examples where scammers send an SMS with the sender ID spoofed and tell the person to expect a phone call from their bank’s customer service. The scammer will then call the person on the spoofed bank telephone number. The ACCC’s Scamwatch continues to work with other government agencies, law enforcement and the private sector to share intelligence, disrupt scams, advocate for consumers and raise awareness in the community. In the October budget, the ACCC received seed funding from the government to scope and plan for a new National Anti-Scams Centre to support the community in the fight against scams. If you have experienced cybercrime and lost money online, contact your financial institution immediately. You can also report to police via ReportCyber. If you have given personal information to a scammer contact IDCARE. Australians, regardless of whether they have lost money, are encouraged to report scams to Scamwatch. Reports can be made anonymously. Learn more about how to get help on the Scamwatch website Follow Scamwatch on Twitter or subscribe to radar alerts. For crisis support to help with emotional distress about scams contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or access support via the online chat between 7 pm and midnight. Beyond Blue also provides support for anxiety and depression 1300 22 4636 or chat online at Beyond Blue Source: ACCC 


Enhanced Security For Internet Banking

Dear member, SWSCU has moved to enable SMS One Time Passwords (OTP) for all members that use internet banking. Using an OTP will enhance the security of your online transactions, by providing an additional layer of authentication. When you log in to your internet banking account or initiate a transaction, you will be prompted to enter the OTP. The OTP is simply generated by clicking the 'Get OTP SMS' button, which will generate a 6 digit code via SMS to your preferred mobile number which you have previously provided to SWSCU. Once the OTP is entered correctly, you will be granted access to your internet banking account. 


Account Name Update

As of 23rd February 2023, SWSCU will be making changes to some of our account names. Rest assured the access, features and functionality that you have come to know will remain the same.   Product Previous Account Name New Account Name S1 General Savings Account Everyday Account S2 Savings Account Card Free Account S4 Budget Savings Account Budget Account S6 Teenager Savings Teenager Account S7 7 Day Notice Goal Account S8 Super Saver Junior Account Changes to account names Effective the 23rd of February 2023.


SWSCU Covid-19 Response

South West Slopes Credit Union is here to help any members who are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 virus, including those impacted by a loss of income with loan payments to meet. If you are a member and your income or job has been affected by COVID-19 we encourage you to talk to us as you may be eligible for a repayment pause on your loan. We remain open and continue to provide all services for business across all branch locations as we support our communities through this time. Members have the option to access 24 hours a day banking through SWSCU’s internet banking or via SWSCU’s App which includes instant payment options. Should any member wish to set up internet banking or the app, or just simply need some assistance, our branch staff are more than happy to help.We will of course continue to process all loan applications quickly and efficiently providing certainty for members during this time of uncertainty. Andrew JonesCEOSouth West Slopes Credit Union

Financial advice

Helping Your Adult Kids Be Financially Savvy

It is human nature for parents to want to provide for their children but at some point, the “help” you may be giving them could actually be more of a hindrance to them gaining their own financial independence - stunting their financial literacy and growth. Your financial future is at stake The other consideration is your retirement lifestyle. If you are 50 or older, now is the time to be setting yourself up for the future and making the most of every discretionary dollar for the development of your nest egg. If you are operating the “bank of mum and dad” for your kids instead of building your retirement, it could mean you need to work longer or compromise your retirement lifestyle. Helping them become financially savvy So, what can you do to help your kids get a grip on their situation and gain financial responsibility? You can give your children positive encouragement and tangible education on the financial life skills they will need. This doesn’t mean you should suddenly “cut them off”, but it does mean you need to begin a serious discussion with them about the costs of maintaining their lifestyle and determine a timeline for passing over responsibility to them. Budgeting is the foundation If you have been putting food on the table and a roof over their head, chances are their income has been directed toward spending on their own entertainment and enjoyment. Giving them an understanding of budgeting is critical for them to gain a broader view of what it takes to survive and prosper financially. Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools available online or through banks, which you can encourage them to use and help them to complete. This will give them an understanding of the scope and scale of spending required to live independently, as well as an appreciation of the differences between essential living expenses (such as food, utilities, communication, transport, and rent) and discretionary spending (such as eating out, entertainment, gaming, and hobbies). Developing responsible habits An extension of the budgeting process is to educate them on the vital importance of saving regularly from their income. Start with a simple rule of saving a set percentage of everything they earn. This can then be developed into goal-oriented saving for various objectives they consider important and worth sacrificing for. If you do want to provide some form of financial support, rather than giving random handouts toward immediate needs, perhaps you can offer to match their savings dollar for dollar in support of something worthwhile, such as a home deposit, rental bond, or a business venture. This gives real incentive to form solid saving habits that will benefit them throughout their life. Educating on credit is also essential as it is easy for them to quickly rack up personal debts that can demoralise them and distort their financial priorities. Analysing a month’s spending may point out where their income is being squandered or wasted. Creating wealth slowly Your children may view the concept of creating financial independence as something that can only happen through outrageous luck or taking huge risks for quick gain. Therefore, one of the most vital lessons you can pass on is the value and importance of creating wealth slowly.   Real financial independence is not the result of a lottery win or riding the back of an investment boom — rather it is the result of forming sound investment practices such as: Allocating a certain proportion of your regular savings toward long-term wealth creation plans Utilising available tools that accelerate wealth, such as superannuation tax incentives Diversifying investments beyond bank term deposits and into a variety of asset classes that relate to your investment time horizons Planning for contingencies (such as sudden loss of income or emergency expenses) by establishing an emergency savings plan and personal insurance protection plans Seeking the advice of a financial adviser to coordinate all of the above, and to develop a lifelong plan and strategy for wealth creation.   Start the conversation now Delaying the steps outlined here may result in an ongoing cycle of dependence that will only become harder to break if it isn’t addressed.   Take the next step To discuss your financial situation, make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner. We have an established alliance with Bridges, to provide our customers with financial advice. Bridges has been helping Australians with financial advice for 30 years. A Bridges financial planner will develop a plan specifically for you; one that’s tailored to your needs and circumstances to help you achieve your goals. To make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner, call 02 6384 1111. The initial consultation is complimentary and obligation free.   Bridges Financial Services Pty Ltd (Bridges). ABN 60 003 474 977. ASX Participant. AFSL 240837. This is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making an investment decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or consult a financial planner or a registered tax agent. Examples are illustrative only and are subject to the assumptions and qualifications disclosed. Part of the IOOF group In referring customers to Bridges, South West Slopes Credit Union Ltd does not accept responsibility for any acts, omissions or advice of Bridges and its authorised representatives.