In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
We've received a number of inquiries from our readers about the COVID-19 economic impact payments (aka stimulus payments) since we originally posted this blog. Within those inquiries, we’re noticing a few common myths that have arisen, so we decided to post a follow-up article to clear up some of these myths. If you haven’t read the original blog, make sure to take a look if you don’t find the answers to your questions below.
If you’re a human being on planet earth today, you are probably feeling some level of stress or anxiety about COVID-19, which is likely made worse by social distancing. People are coming up with more positive spins on social distancing—distant socializing and physical distancing, for example—but the fact remains that we are all under increased stress and most of us are feeling distant from the social networks that would normally help us deal with the stress.
Rule Number 1: Don’t panic and breathe deeply COVID-19 has caused a lot of people to feel panic and fear about their financial situation and future. This panic and fear can lead to “poverty consciousness,” which is a set of beliefs that cause us to fear that we won’t have enough to survive. This mindset of fear doesn’t lead to good decisions. “So, how can I get past this?” you ask. Thoughtful reflection on the past and maintaining a sense of perspective for the larger picture will lead us through this episode.
Fraudsters will never let a good crisis go to waste. During this coronavirus outbreak, people’s attention is focused on the health and social impacts of COVID-19, which creates fear and confusion that thieves can use as a tool to steal information and, ultimately, money. So, in addition to social distancing and washing your hands, you should keep an eye out for this other type of germ—the online scammer.
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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided more information about the IRS stimulus payments they will distribute within the next three weeks, also referred to as Economic Impact Payments or COVID-relief checks. Those who filed their taxes in 2018 or 2019 do not have to do anything to receive their check. There are a lot of details to this stimulus package, so we've compiled everything you need to know, including when you can expect to receive your stimulus.
As Vermonters hunker down to stop the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the burden on our healthcare system, we all have to adjust to this strange new normal. With the Governor’s "stay home, stay safe" order, all non-essential businesses have closed their doors, and most events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, many businesses have modified their services to be accessible remotely. Vermont musicians are turning to livestream platforms to replace the concerts they would have previously headlined. Yoga studios are using video conferencing software to continue holding classes. Online delivery services from big and small companies alike are ramping up their shipping capability to serve the ever-increasing demand for online orders. Even grocery delivery has been made possible across Vermont.
I sat down with our CFO and senior vice president of finance, Terence Field, to discuss how to keep you and your money safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19). With so much going on right now, it was wonderful to have an engaging conversation with Terry about everything we are doing to keep our staff and members safe. This was streamed live on Facebook on March 18.
Most of the fraudulent acts we see today are common schemes that have been around for years, but they are more effective now than ever before. Why? Our lifestyle, which keeps us constantly “connected,” has made it easier for fraudsters to perpetrate their schemes. Our smart devices: phones, watches, personal computers, autos, televisions, appliances, security cameras, printers, baby monitors, dog treat dispensers, and smart doorbells (just to name a few) help us feel connected but also make us vulnerable to cybercrime. Anything that is connected to and shares data with the internet is part of what is commonly referred to as the internet of things (IOT). Unfortunately, the IOT is also the future of fraud.