Author Archive for Danielle Panchak

Important Info for Members Regarding Phone Spoofing Scams

AllCom Credit Union members must stay alert to the latest attempts by scammers to access personal financial data. Fraudsters are spoofing email addresses and phone numbers to make it appear as though they are from a trusted source, such as our credit union, government agencies, or legitimate businesses.

Some of our members have recently received emails, text messages, and phone calls from cyberthieves posing as credit union employees, using pieces of personally identifiable information to gain member trust before stealing account funds.

AllCom Credit Union will NEVER ask you for a one-time PIN or any personal passwords!

Below shows what a digital wallet text from AllCom may look like. Please note where it says do not share with anyone. This code should ONLY be entered directly into your device when adding cards to your digital wallet. Providing this code to someone pretending to be from AllCom allows the scammer to add your credit/debit card to their mobile wallet. They are then able to start completing transactions immediately.

We want to emphasize that our credit union will NEVER call you and ask for confidential information such as your account number, one-time passwords, PIN, or password over the phone. If you receive a call requesting this information, even if the caller ID appears to be from our institution, please hang up immediately and call us directly at the number you know to be correct (888.754.9980).

Your security is our top priority, and we are committed to taking proactive measures to safeguard your personal and financial information. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

5 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Can Stick To

The new year often comes with the tradition of formalizing goals for the coming months. In a study by Forbes, 38% of adults surveyed said their top New Year’s resolution was improving their finances. This stat comes as no surprise, as financial goals are often tangentially tied to many other aspirations on our list.

Let’s dive into some financial New Year’s resolutions that are easy to achieve and stick to for the long haul!

  1. Build a budget that prioritizes savings

If you’re part of the 38% of Americans prioritizing saving this year, you should know a few key things before you start. First, keep your goal attainable!

The best way to keep your savings resolution is to automate it. Start by picking a budget that prioritizes saving first. The zero-balance budget is a method of managing money where every single penny of your paycheck is accounted for. This type of budgeting lets you consistently automate your savings on payday.

  1. Step up your retirement contributions

If the start of the new year also means performance reviews at your workplace, this goal is easy to tackle! Retirement savings is one of the most important long-term financial goals you can work toward.

Experts recommend increasing your 401(k) contributions by at least 1% annually. If you receive a 3% raise, try increasing your retirement contributions by 1%. You’ll still be getting a 2% raise every paycheck and setting yourself up for success to live a comfortable life when you retire.

  1. Commit to improving your credit score

Have you ever taken a deep dive into your credit report to see if everything is correct? If you answered no, this is your year to familiarize yourself and better understand what impacts your credit score.

It’s essential to know more than just your credit score. Monitoring your credit report once a year will bring you peace of mind and help you spot any potential fraud issues before they spiral out of hand. Remember, you can access one free credit report—which includes your FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) score—every year at

  1. Assess your finances for extra saving opportunities

Saving more than you already are can sometimes feel like a stretch. Assessing your monthly spending habits can uncover extra saving opportunities you may not even realize you had!

  1. Make extra payments to eliminate debt

Do any of your financial resolutions involve paying down debt faster? Commit to putting “extra” money that comes your way to paying down student loans, credit card debt or your mortgage. Prioritize paying off the debt with the highest interest rates first.

IRA and 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2024

One of the most anticipated moves by the Internal Revenue Service every year is the new limits on funding retirement accounts. The new contribution limits reflect cost-of-living increases over the last year.

The IRS recently announced that the contribution limits for 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan will increase to $23,000 in 2024, up from $22,500 in 2023.

The IRS also announced that contributions to IRAs will increase from $6,500 in 2023 to $7,000 in 2024. The IRA catch up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over was amended under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 to include an annual cost of living adjustment but remains $1,000 for 2024. Taxpayers can deduct contributions to a traditional IRA (not a Roth IRA) if they meet certain conditions. If during the year either the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse was covered by a retirement plan at work, the deduction may be reduced, or phased out, until it is eliminated, depending on filing status and income.

Fall Finance Tips

As the leaves change colors and the air gets crisper, fall is certainly in the air. Fall is the perfect time to take a closer look at your money matters and make some smart financial moves. Here are some fall finance tips to help you stay on track.

Review your budget and expenses

Where is your money going? Do you need to adjust your budget to make room for certain things, or cut back on others? Fall can bring different spending patterns with holidays and back-to-school costs, so it’s a good idea to adjust your budget accordingly.

Plan for holiday expenses

As the year winds down, it’s a good time to think about year-end expenses. This includes holiday gifts, travel plans, and any tax-related actions you need to take. Planning ahead can help you avoid extra stress come December.

Check on your credit

Take a moment to check your credit report. Reviewing your credit for errors or discrepancies can help you maintain good credit.

Get ready for open enrollment

Fall often means open enrollment for employee benefits. Review your health insurance, retirement plan, and other benefits to ensure you’re making the most of what your employer offers.

Winterize your home

Before the winter frost sets in, take a moment to seal cracks and gaps in your home. It’s like bundling up in a warm scarf for your home. Proper insulation can help keep the cold out and keep your heating and energy bills low.

Save for emergencies

Fall storms and unexpected expenses can happen. Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover unexpected costs. If you don’t have one, consider setting up small automatic transfers to build your savings.

Prepare for tax season

It’s never too early to start preparing for tax season. Organize your financial documents, such as receipts and records of deductible expenses. It’s a good idea to check how much money is left in your FSA account if you have one, too. Consider making any year-end contributions to retirement accounts.

Declutter and sell

Everyone always emphasizes spring cleaning, but fall is also a great time to declutter your home. Consider selling items you no longer need online or through a garage sale. The extra cash can boost your savings or help you pay down debt.

Important Information: Digital Banking Upgrade

AllCom Credit Union has launched our new Digital Banking Platform, replacing our prior Online Banking and Mobile Banking systems. Our new Digital Banking Platform provides enhanced functionality and an optimized experience for both mobile app and online users. Among the new features, you will find improvements to our e-alert options, more convenient eStatement availability, easier ways to manage your account, as well as new security features.

After the upgrade on September 26, it will be necessary for you to re-enroll. You can enroll either from our website or by downloading the new Mobile Banking app. Note: The current mobile banking app will not function after the upgrade on September 26.

Important to Note

You will have to do the following beginning 9/26:

  • Enroll in our new digital banking
  • Set up alerts
  • Re-connect to Quicken

The following will happen automatically:

  • All Bill Pay payees and recurring payments will carryover.
  • Recurring transfers and payments will carry over
  • Credit Cards – My AllCom VISA system will now be integrated with digital banking so you will have one seamless user experience. You will now find this information within Online/Mobile Banking under Accounts > Cards > Credit Card Controls. You will have to connect the first time by entering basic demographic information and accept the terms and conditions. Then moving forward you will automatically connect by clicking on the Credit Card Controls menu.

Additional Feature Tutorials

Account Display Options
You can now view and access all joint accounts, in addition to your primary accounts. You can reorder or hide any accounts you’d prefer not to see.
Manage Account Groupings
Members can organize their accounts into custom groups to easily stay organized.
Manage Alerts (SMS Set-Up)
Low balance? Large deposit? Log in from an unrecognized device? Set up account alerts via email, text messaging or push notification.
Biometrics (Mobile app)
Log in to the mobile app using Face ID.
Visa Credit Card Access
Visa Credit Card account holders can now access their credit card information by directly logging in to online and mobile banking.

Exciting New Features!

  • You will no longer need to enroll in online banking first. You will have the same experience in both mobile and online banking.
  • My AllCom VISA system will be integrated with digital banking so you will have one seamless user experience.
  • You will be able to transfer funds to AllCom members instantly and make loan payments from other Financial Institutions

Note: Access to Quicken and other account aggregators, such as Mint, is now available. To complete the setup, please deactivate and re-add your accounts.

Click the links below to access each email communication:

Notification 1 (August 15, 2023)
Notification 2 (August 22, 2023)
Notification 3 (September 5, 2023)
Notification 4 (September 12, 2023)
Notification 5 (September 22, 2023)
Notification 6 (September 25, 2023)

Scam Alerts

September 30, 2023

Consumers must stay alert to the latest attempts by scammers to access personal financial data. Scammers are using all sorts of tricks to get you to believe you are communicating with an actual credit union employee.

Financial Institution impersonation scams are on the rise with the most common scams happening over emails, text messages and phone calls.

Scammers Impersonating Financial Institutions

Phone Calls
Scammers may also pose as Financial Institution employees claiming they need to discuss an important matter related to your account. They will ask you to answer a few questions to verify your identity.

As you are relaying the information, the scammers might be accessing your account online with the information you provide. This may trigger a multi-factor authentication code or PIN sent to your phone, which the scammer will ask you to give them. Some scammers can spoof phone numbers to make them appear like a local number or display the Financial Institution’s name.

Email or Text Scams
You might receive an email or text message that appears to come from your Financial Institution. Most commonly, they’ll claim you have a suspicious charge to your debit card or checking account and need some information to restore your account or confirm your identity. They will ask you to provide your personal information, account or card numbers, PINs, or passwords to gain access, take over your account, and steal your money.

Members may receive text messages from AllCom for fraud alerts on debit/credit cards. These messages should NEVER be shared with anyone else. AllCom will NEVER ask for the information from these messages.

Additional Types of Fraud & Scams

Social Media Scams
Scammers create fake social media posts and profiles to convince you to share your personal or financial information. Instead of creating a fake profile, scammers may also take over an existing one. Scammers use the hacked profile to contact the person’s friends and family and ask for money or to promote a link to a fraudulent site they own. 

Grandparent Scams
If you get a call from someone who sounds like a grandchild or relative asking you to wire or transfer money or send gift cards to help them out of trouble, it could be a scam.

Debt Collection Scams
Most debt collectors will contact you to collect on legitimate debts you owe. But there are scammers who pose as debt collectors to get you to pay for debts you don’t owe or ones you’ve already paid.

Money Transfer or Mobile Payment Services Fraud
Con artists use money transfers to steal people’s money. If someone you don’t know asks you to send money to them, it should be a red flag. Scammers also use mobile payment services to trick people into sending money or merchandise without holding up their end of the deal.

How to Protect Yourself from Scams

  • Never share personal information or a one time code you receive via SMS text message. Legitimate attempts to validate credit or debit card activity only requires a simple response (YES or NO) via text.
  • Do not click on hyperlinked phone numbers sent via SMS text or on links inside emails.
  • Pause before providing personal data via phone calls you did not initiate, even if the caller ID is reading a known financial institution or business. Hang up and contact the financial institution or business directly.
  • Don’t agree to receive or send money or packages for people you either don’t know or haven’t met, especially if they are requesting money by gift card, wire transfer, bitcoin or mobile wallet. 
  • Be on the lookout for suspicious social media posts, including limited-time offers or discounts that seem too good to be true, and requests for personal or account information.

AllCom will never ask you for personal information, passwords, verification codes or to transfer money. Call 508.754.9980 with questions or to report a scam. Click below for more information on the most common types of fraud and scams.

February 25, 2023

Mail Theft Uptick Leads to Check Fraud

According to the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, mail theft complaints more than doubled from March 2020 to February 2021. The criminals rob mailboxes and mail carriers of the master keys to the blue mailbox drops to gain access to the mail. The criminals then sift through to locate checks that can be altered, counterfeited, or sold online.

In several cases, member-issued checks have been stolen from USPS mailboxes, as well as members’ mailboxes, altered, and negotiated elsewhere. The checks can also be used to open fraudulent new accounts and loans using the name and address information for stolen identities.

Mail theft and armed robberies against U.S. Postal Service carriers have increased substantially throughout the country. The criminal’s focus is to gain access to the master keys of the blue USPS mailboxes –ultimately in search for checks that can be altered, counterfeited, or sold online.

AllCom Credit Union members are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit, pay bills online or use AllCom’s bill pay service via online and mobile banking. If you need to mail a check, consider mailing them inside the Post Office lobby rather than using blue mailboxes. As always, we encourage our members to log into your accounts frequently to review transaction history – looking for unfamiliar transactions. Please report unfamiliar and unauthorized transactions immediately to AllCom.

January 26, 2023

Chick-fil-A Investigates Suspicious Activity on its Chick-fil-A One App

In a statement released by Chick-fil-A on Jan. 4, 2023, the company announced that suspicious activity has occurred on some Chick-fil-A One accounts. AllCom continues to monitor the situation. Chick-fil-A One account holders are advised to change their password and remove all payment information on the app immediately. For more information, please visit Chick-fil-A’s customer support website here

December 27, 2022

Learn the Signs of a Fake Survey

Lately, AllCom has been seeing members fall for surveys by inputting card information on fake “survey sites”.

Some key tips to remember:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We are up-to-date on all the latest scams – you can always call and ask for our opinion.
  • Free trials, free samples, surveys, social media offers and pay for shipping only transactions should always raise concern and be researched further. A quick Google search or call to the credit union can help determine if something is legitimate. There have been many members who participate in these types of transactions and later they find out they have been enrolled in a subscription they weren’t aware of (because they didn’t read fine print).
  • Even if an email, text, phone call, source, etc. says they’re a particular merchant doesn’t necessarily mean they are. Example: You get an email from Kohl’s asking you to fill out a survey and in return, you’ll receive a free item if you just pay for shipping. You give them your card number to pay for shipping and then nothing is ever delivered. Sometimes these scammers may even start charging other unauthorized amounts.

Always keep in mind:

  • Once again, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
  • Free trials always have fine print and typically enroll you into a subscription unless you cancel before you’re charged
  • If your card info is needed for something and you’re told you won’t be charged, it should raise suspicion
  • If you’re promised goods or money in return for doing something, it should raise suspicion
  • Scammers are great at what they do. There are countless ways they can find out information and contact people. It’s important to learn all their tricks and be able to identify scams
  • When in doubt, Google is a great tool. Most of the scam situations can be Googled with results showing people who have already complained online
  • AllCom team members are available (888.754.9980) to help determine if it’s a scam


For more information on fake surveys visit:

Member Appreciation Day 2023

AllCom has the BEST members and we LOVE to celebrate you!

Join us for Member Appreciation Day!

Hot Dogs | Fun | Friends | Popcorn


Thursday, October 5, 2023
10 am – 3 pm

AllCom Credit Union
36 Park Ave, Worcester

No purchase necessary to enter. Must be 18 years or older to enter, open to US entries only. AllCom staff, board members and affiliates are not eligible to enter. One entry per person. Entries must be submitted in-person 10/5/2023 by 2:30 pm. Winner will be announced 10/5/2023 at 3:00 pm and contacted via phone if no longer present at the event. Odds of winning is dependent upon number of completed entries received. AllCom Credit Union is not responsible for misdirected or incomplete entries. This giveaway is sponsored by AllCom Credit Union. For a full set of rules, please contact AllCom Credit Union at 36 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA 01609. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Line of Credit vs Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

A line of credit and a credit card can both be great options for short-term financing. However, they’re not created equal. Check out a few key differences to help you decide which is best for your needs. 

A line of credit allows you to borrow money repeatedly. While all credit cards are connected to a line of credit, you can have a line of credit that is not associated with a credit card.

A credit card comes with a predetermined credit limit and requires minimum monthly payments on the money borrowed. If you carry a balance month to month, you may be subject to higher interest rates.   

A line of credit allows you to borrow up to a certain limit and repay with interest only on the amount you borrow. It usually offers a higher credit limit and a lower interest rate than a credit card. If you secure your line of credit against your home, with a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), you will typically get a lower rate than a personal line of credit.

Below are basic differences between the two:

Line of Credit:

  • Provides a revolving credit limit 
  • Borrow up to the approved limit and repay  
  • Gives you the freedom to borrow and repay on your own terms, providing greater flexibility in managing your finances 
  • Generally offers higher credit limit compared to credit cards, providing greater access to funds for larger expenses or ongoing capital needs 

Credit Card:

  • Comes with a predetermined credit limit. 
  • Requires minimum monthly payments, and if you carry a balance, you may be subject to higher interest rates 
  • Can be used for day-to-day expenses, such as office supplies, travel expenses, and online purchases. 

To put it simply, a line of credit may make more sense for ongoing or larger expenses, while credit cards are convenient for day-to-day expenses or regular purchases, and offer many perks, including points you can use for cash back. 

Inflation: Prices on the rise

Inflation is an economic concept that is often discussed, yet frequently misunderstood. It is the sustained increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. Inflation can have a significant impact on your financial goals, as it reduces the purchasing power of your money.  It is important to understand inflation and how it affects your financial goals.

Inflation basics

Inflation is the price increase of goods and services: more money is needed to buy the same goods (like a cheeseburger or a car) and services (like a haircut). Over time, the same amount of money—say $10—buys less and less. You’ve already experienced this in your lifetime—instead of paying $15 for a book like you did last year (or even a few months) ago, it costs $15.50 now. That’s inflation at work. Inflation affects the prices of pretty much everything in your budget.

There are four types of inflation that are named and categorized by their speed: creeping, walking, galloping, and hyperinflation. Beyond that, there are specific types of asset inflation and wage inflation, but we’ll stick to looking at the first four general types.

Creeping inflation is prices rising three percent or less a year. This mild inflation boosts demand and results in economic expansion as consumers expect a steady increase in costs and buy more now to avoid paying more later. Walking inflation is prices rising between three and ten percent in a year. This can be bad for the economy as consumers enter a buying frenzy where supply and wages can’t keep up. Common goods and services can become priced out of reach for most people. Galloping inflation is prices rising more than 10 percent. Money loses value so fast that the economy destabilizes. Finally, hyperinflation is prices rising 50 percent or more a month. This is rare and usually the result of government turmoil, war, etc.

The annual inflation rate for the United States was 4.0% for the 12 months ended May, according to U.S. Labor Department data published on June 13, 2023. 

How/why inflation happens

The Federal Reserve System (or just “the Fed”) is America’s central banking system. As dictated by Congress, the Fed has three main tasks: stabilize prices for Americans, create conditions that maximize employment rates, and moderate long-term interest rates. While the Fed has several tools and mechanisms to achieve these objectives, the one you probably hear about most is the fed funds rate.

The Fed requires that financial institutions hold a certain amount of capital in reserve at the end of every day, determined as a percentage of the total loans the bank or credit union has made. This reserve requirement prevents banks and credit unions from lending out every single dollar and not having enough cash on hand to start the next day.

At the end of every day, some financial institutions don’t have enough in reserve to meet the requirement, while others have much more than they need. To solve this problem, those with more than enough money in reserve will lend their extra Federal Reserve funds overnight to those that need it. The fed funds rate is the interest rate the banks and credit unions charge each other for this type of loan.

Raising the fed fund rate means the price of other goods like food and gasoline will stay low, and each paycheck should stretch further as inflation is slowed. Rising rates will also benefit those who have money in high-yield savings accounts.

When the Fed lowers the rate, the opposite occurs: banking institutions are more likely to borrow from one another, businesses expand, salaries increase, credit card rates drop, larger mortgages are lent out, and consumers spend more. The economy is stimulated and allowed to grow until the balance is tipped once more with overspending and inflation, which will prompt the Fed to once again raise rates.

What inflation means for retirees

As you can see, inflation is expected, and all retirement plans should take it into account to help you set and reach an appropriate goal. However, other events and policies can affect inflation rates outside of the fed fund rate, which can’t always be planned for. When prices for common goods and services that retirees depend on—food, medications, transportation—jump too high too fast, Social Security benefits might fall short. This is another reason why Americans should have a retirement plan in addition to their Social Security benefit.

Stay informed and proactive, and you can prepare for a more secure financial future.

5 Borrowing Strategies For a HELOC

The equity in your home can provide a cost-effective way to borrow money for just about anything. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) works similar to a credit card, but is better suited for large expenses and generally has a lower interest rate. With a HELOC, you borrow against the equity in your home that is used as collateral. Here are some of the best HELOC borrowing strategies and smart ways to use your HELOC:

Debt Consolidation
A home equity line of credit usually has a better interest rate than other types of loans. Financial obligations such as auto loans, personal loans, and credit card balances with high interest rates could be consolidated with a HELOC. This form of debt consolidation can provide lower interest rates and eliminate multiple payment due dates. The downside of a HELOC is that it uses your home as collateral, so if you fail to repay it, you could put your home in jeopardy.

Higher Education
College is expensive and if you or your child don’t qualify for low-rate, flexible federal student loans, borrowing against your home’s equity may be one of your better borrowing options. Before committing to any type of loan, compare the interest rates, repayment flexibility, and potential borrower benefits, to choose a financing option that best suits your needs.

Home Improvements
One of the most common reasons for taking out a HELOC is home improvements. Upgrades such as a new deck or kitchen renovation may increase the value of your home and be well worth the investment down the road. Even if you plan to keep your home, upgrades or renovations can make it a better place to live.

Emergency Expenses
Unexpected expenses may arise that deplete your emergency savings fund. Your HELOC can supplement emergency savings if life events such as loss of employment, medical expenses or expensive auto repair bills happen.

What About Other Expenses?
You could use a HELOC to pay wedding expenses or get a business off the ground. If your other borrowing options have high interest rates, a HELOC might be a good loan option.

Apply or contact us to learn more.