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Limerick & District CU

August Members Cash Draw Winners

By | Latest News

Our August Members Cash Draw Winners 👇

  • Michael Feehan
  • Martin McMahon
  • John Foley
  • Andrew & Mary McCarthy
  • Margaret Foskin
  • Joseph Hickey
  • Margaret Devlin
  • Marie Ryan
  • Julia Ann Lynch
  • Elizabeth Connors
  • John Shanny
  • Brigid & Joseph Laffan

Well done to all our winners.

#YourLimerickCreditUnion

Mountain a Month

By | Latest News

Our own staff members Bernie & Elaine are pictured here on Mount Brandon, Co. Kerry taking part in the “Mountain a Month” in aid of mental health.

Mountain a Month for Mental Health is a non-profit organisation whose sole purpose is to promote good mental health through hiking, mountain climbing and becoming part of a well-organised team event. Hikes are run monthly where you can join the team and wander where the WiFi is weak! They will provide all hikers with refreshments, knowledge of hiking equipment, mental health tips and a sense of achievement.

Limerick man, Martin Leonard set up Mountain a Month for Mental Health a couple of years ago following years of his own battle with mental health.

 

 

Staying Safe Online

By | Our Blog

A phishing attack is a form of social engineering by which cyber criminals attempt to trick individuals by creating and sending fake emails that appear to be from an authentic source, such as a business or colleague.

The email might ask you to confirm personal account information such as a password or prompt you to open a malicious attachment that infects your computer with a virus or malware.

Phishing emails are one of the most common online threats, so it is important to be aware of the tell-tale signs and know what to do when you encounter them.

Here are five ways to spot phishing attacks.

  1. The email asks you to confirm personal information

Often an email will arrive in your inbox that looks very authentic. Whether this email matches the style used by your company or that of an external business such as a credit union, hackers can go to painstaking lengths to ensure that it imitates the real thing. However, when this authentic-looking email makes requests that you wouldn’t normally expect, it’s often a strong giveaway that it’s not from a trusted source after all.

Keep an eye out for emails requesting you to confirm personal information that you would never usually provide, such as online banking details or login credentials. Do not reply or click any links and if you think there’s a possibility that the email is genuine, you should search online and contact the organisation directly  – do not use any communication method provided in the email.

  1. The web and email addresses do not look genuine

It is often the case that a phishing email will come from an address that appears to be genuine. Criminals aim to trick recipients by including the name of a legitimate company within the structure of email and web addresses. If you only glance at these details they can look very real but if you take a moment to actually examine the email address you may find that it’s a bogus variation intended to appear authentic ‒ for example: @mail.airbnb.work as opposed to @Airbnb.com.

Malicious links can also be concealed with the body of email text, often alongside genuine ones.  Before clicking on links, hover over and inspect each one first.

  1. It’s poorly written

It is amazing how often you can spot a phishing email simply by the poor language used in the body of the message. Read the email and check for spelling and grammatical mistakes, as well as strange turns of phrase. Emails from legitimate companies will have been constructed by professional writers and exhaustively checked for spelling, grammar and legality errors. If you have received an unexpected email from a company, and it is riddled with mistakes, this can be a strong indicator it is actually a phish.

Interestingly, there is even the suggestion that scam emails are deliberately poorly written to ensure that they only trick the most gullible targets.

  1. There’s a suspicious attachment

Alarm bells should be ringing if you receive an email from a company out of the blue that contains an attachment, especially if it relates to something unexpected. The attachment could contain a malicious URL (a malicious URL is a link created with the purpose of promoting scams, attacks and frauds) or trojan (malware which misleads users of its true intent), leading to the installation of a virus or malware on your PC or network. Even if you think an attachment is genuine, it’s good practice to always scan it first using antivirus software.

  1. The message is designed to make you panic

It is common for phishing emails to instill panic in the recipient. The email may claim that your account may have been compromised and the only way to verify it is to enter your login details. Alternatively, the email might state that your account will be closed if you do not act immediately. Ensure that you take the time to really think about whether an email is asking something reasonable of you. If you’re unsure, contact the company through other methods.

Ultimately, being cautious with emails can’t hurt.

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, social media posts and online advertising are often how cyber-criminals try to steal your personal information. Even if you know the source, if something looks suspicious, delete it.

July Members Cash Draw Winners

By | Latest News

Our July Members Cash Draw Winners 👇

  • Dolores McDonagh
  • Con Nestor
  • Amy Mitchell
  • Kay Moore
  • Elizabeth Byrnes
  • Tanya Naughton
  • Christian Collins
  • Alison Spillane
  • Muireann Cunneen
  • Sophie Shine
  • Mary Hickey
  • Shirley O’Brien

Well done to all our winners.

#YourLimerickCreditUnion

Back to School Survey

By | Latest News

ILCU survey shows marked increase in numbers struggling with Back to School costs

  • 78% of parents finding Back to School spend a financial burden, a substantial 11% increase on last year
  • One third forced to deny their children certain school items because they cannot afford them
  • Parents now spending €1,399 per secondary school children – up €20 on last year
  • At primary school level, parents have reduced spending with costs down €50 to €949 per child.
  • Numbers getting into debt to cover Back to School costs remains steady at 36%, however average debt has fallen by €83.

More than three quarters of parents (78%) say the cost of Back to School is a financial burden. This is a significant increase on 67% in 2018. Parents getting children ready for secondary school are spending €1,399 per child. This is up €20 on the €1,379 being spent last year. Parents of primary school children are however spending less; €949 this year compared to €999 last year (€50 decrease).

Understandably, more parents of secondary school children are finding costs a struggle. Eight in ten (83%) say the back to school spend is a financial burden compared with 77% of parents at primary level.

The findings were revealed in a national survey of 882 parents of school children by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). The survey was carried out by independent market research company, iReach Insights in June 2019.

While the numbers in debt over back to school costs remains steady at over a third (36%), parents appear to be more prudent with the debt they are running up. The average debt this year is €322 compared with €405 in 2018, a reduction of €83.

Looking at this in more detail, parents of primary school children say their average back to school related debt is €274, down from €367 in 2018. At second level, parents say their average debt is €357, down from €443 last year.

Of those parents in debt, almost a quarter (24%) say they have turned to a moneylender. While this figure is worrying, it is a 3% drop since last year. The average amount borrowed from moneylenders has also fallen slightly from €450 last year, to €439 this year.

Costs continue to be parents’ main concern at back to school time. Half of parents say it’s their biggest worry, up 4% on last year. One third (33%) say they will be forced to deny their children certain school items because they can’t afford them. This is up from 31% last year.

68% will cut out extracurricular activities, 30% won’t spend on school trips. 29% say new gym gear will get the cut while, for 22%, new shoes will be off the school list. This last item however is down considerably from the 42% in 2018.

Welcoming the recent publication of the Joint Committee on Education and Skills report on their examination of school costs, Paul Bailey, ILCU Head of Communications said, “We are calling on the Government to take more affirmative action to tackle the rising costs of sending children back to school. The recommendations outlined in the Joint Committee on Education and Skill’s report, if taken on board, will go a long way to easing this annual burden on parents.”

The most expensive item at second level was again books, coming in at €220 compared with €200 last year. Uniforms/clothing was next on the list at €200, up from €179 last year. School trips are set to cost parents €190 this year, compared with €159 last year.

At primary school level, parents appear to be cutting back on school lunches, with the spend falling from €142 last year to €102 this year. After-school care has also seen a drop from €140 to €117. Extra-curricular activities continue to be the biggest spend at €159. Up from €153 in 2018.

Uniforms/clothing is coming in as the second most expensive item at €133, up from €128 last year. This is followed by books at €123 – up just €1 on last year.

In general, parents say the biggest sacrifice they make in order to cover back to school costs is family holidays. 43% said they would reduce spending on a holiday, compared with 34% last year. 31% said they would cut spending on summer activities for the kids, similar to 30% last year. 8% said they would cut spending on food for the family, down from 15% last year.

Commenting on these findings, Paul Bailey said; “We are very encouraged to see that overall, the numbers approaching moneylenders has fallen by 1% since last year (3% down from 4%). The research also showed that those using credit cards to cover the Back to School spend has decreased by 5% (falling from 18% to 13%). We see this as a very positive response to the credit union message that they are an affordable, convenient and ethical alternative to credit cards and moneylenders. We would encourage all parents in need of financial assistance to contact their local credit union and forego moneylenders and credit cards completely.”

Limerick & District Credit Union