Beware Malware Scams

Malware scams are malicious and exploit the known prevalence of scams. Hackers tap into people’s fears by tricking innocent victims into losing their information and their money. Here’s what you need to know about malware scams and how to avoid them.

How these scams play out

Malware scams, also known as tech support scams, begin with a phone call, pop-up message, or email. A scammer reaches out to an individual and informs them that their computer has been hacked. The caller claims the alleged hacker gained access to the victim’s device and can do all kinds of damage. However, the caller, posing as tech support, says they can help remove any malware that’s supposedly installed. The bogus rep gives the victim instructions for removing the malware, possibly even giving the caller access to their device. Unfortunately, though, if the victim follows these directions, they’ll actually be installing malware on their computer. 

Red flags

Avoid malware scams by looking out for these signs: 

  • An alleged rep of a tech company has called you without you reaching out first. 
  • The “tech support rep” asks you to provide them with remote access to your device.
  • The caller urges you to act immediately or risk causing further damage. 
  • The caller asks you to enter your credit card information to pay them for their service. Alternatively, they’ll ask to be paid via prepaid gift card

If you’ve been targeted

If you’ve been targeted by a malware scam, don’t engage with the caller. Hang up and block the number. Next, close your device. If you believe you’ve already given the scammer access, consult a real tech support expert to remove any malware that may have been installed. In addition, consider placing a credit freeze on your name. Finally, alert the FTC.

Signs your device has been infected

Here’s some ways to tell if your computer’s been infected:

  • It’s slowed down a lot.
  • You’re blasted with tons of pop-up ads. 
  • Your system abruptly crashes. 
  • You’re suddenly low on disk space.

If you notice any of these signs, take it to a tech support expert and follow the steps outlined above.

Stay safe

Don’t Get Caught in a Shopping Scam!

When shopping moved online, it created a wave of new scams. Many of them can be difficult to spot and offer no way for the victim to reclaim lost funds. Here’s how to recognize an online shopping scam. 

How these scams play out

There are several variations to the online shopping scam

In one version, a shopper decides to purchase an item online and completes the transaction. Unfortunately, the item will never show up. If it does, it’s a cheap knockoff of the product, instead of the item that was purchased. 

In another variation, a shopper finds an item online and tries to make a purchase. They’ll be asked for sensitive info, such as their checking account number. The shopper will be unable to complete the transaction and will run into repeated site errors. Unfortunately, the scammers now have their information and can empty their accounts, or worse.

In a third version, a seller clicks on an ad, or on a site that came up in a Google search for one of their favorite stores. They’ll proceed to make an order, not knowing they’ve clicked into a scammer’s fake site. The rest of the scam will follow one of the scenarios described above. 

Red flags

Watch out for these warning signs that you may have stumbled upon a shopping scam:

  • Prices are too good to be true. 
  • The offer urges you to act now. 
  • The seller demands a specific means of payment
  • The website is full of typos. 

Stay safe

Follow these tips to keep yourself safe from online shopping scams:

  • Only shop on safe, secure sites. 
  • Check the URL for proper spelling of reputable sites to ensure you haven’t landed on a look-a-like site. 
  • Avoid clicking on high-pressure pop-up ads. 
  • Pay with a credit card when shopping online.
  • Never share personal information with an unverified contact.

If you’re targeted

If you’ve fallen victim to an online shopping scam, take these steps to fix the damage:

Call the company to dispute the charge if you paid by credit card. At this point, you may want to place a credit alert on your name. Next, alert the FTC . Finally, let your friends know about the scam.

Stay safe!

4 Ways to Stay Financially Fit this Summer

Ahh… summer! The season of flip-flops and sunscreen, of lemonade and baseball. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, summer can also be the season of overspending for some of us. When the sun is blazing across a cloudless sky and the day stretches on with endless possibilities, purse strings are looser and cards are swiped with abandon. But nothing kills summer fun like a busted budget and a mountain of debt. So how can you stay financially fit this summer?

Keeping your finances intact throughout the summer is possible if you’re ready to plan ahead and make responsible choices. Here are four tips for a financially fit summer. 

1.      Prepare for a possible change in income

If you’re a freelancer, business owner or get paid per diem, expect to see a drop in income during the summer. Business is notoriously slower across many industries at this time, so it’s best to be prepared for this reality. To avoid dipping into savings or going into debt, trim your discretionary spending and use the extra funds to cover non-discretionary expenses. You can also choose to find a side hustle for the summer to cover the gap in your income. 

2.      Get your budget summer-ready

Your budget will see some changes in the summertime, and it’s wise to prepare it in advance instead of being caught unaware. Here are some changes you might expect:

  • Higher utility bills 
  • Increase in fuel prices 
  • Travel expenses
  • Increased activities for kids

3.      Create a vacation budget 

Build a workable budget for your summer getaway to avoid overspending. Attach a dollar amount for your hotel stay, car rental, food costs, transportation, entertainment and outings as well as any other costs you expect to encounter during vacation. 

4.      Review and adjust as necessary

Blowing a budget is never an excuse to go all out and overspend without considering the consequences. To avoid falling into this trap, review your budget and your overall spending on a regular basis throughout the summer. Being aware of the state of your finances will make it easier to make responsible choices going forward. 

Follow these tips to keep your finances intact throughout the summer. 

Olean Area FCU Awards Scholarships to Collegebound Seniors

Olean Area Federal Credit Union has awarded $2,000 in college scholarships to four high school seniors to help finance their college education.

The students, who are members of Olean Area FCU, were chosen based on their outstanding academic and extracurricular achievements.

“As a community-focused institution, we are always looking for opportunities to give back.” said Richard Yeager, CEO “The Scholarship Program allows us the opportunity to give back to our younger members as they embark on their college careers.”

The high school seniors who received the awards were: Christy Childs of Hinsdale, Kaylee Rhinehart of Otto-Eldred, Sara Thomas of Olean, and Alexis Trietley – also of Olean High School.

In addition to the Olean Area FCU Scholarship, Christy Childs was also awarded scholarships through the Jamestown Credit Union Chapter and the New York Credit Union Association totaling an additional $1,500.

10 Fun Gifts for Dad that Don’t Break the Budget

It’s Dad’s time, a day to go all-out to make your all-time favorite hero happy. But, Father’s Day doesn’t have to drain your wallet. You can make Dad’s day and keep your budget, too. Here are 10 fun and low-cost gifts that’ll make Dad smile.

1. Apple charging dock

This awesome charging dock can juice up an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at the same time. Get Dad’s 3-in-1 charging station for just $19 on Amazon

2. BenShot pint glass with real golf ball

Does Dad love to golf? Surprise him with this unique pint glass with a real embedded golf ball. Just $26 on Amazon.

3. Classic charades

The classic game of Charades, just $12 at, will help create warm family memories way beyond Father’s Day.

4. Open bottle wine rest

This adorable mountain-shaped wine bottle rest is the perfect gift for the outdoorsy dad who loves to enjoy a good glass of wine and save the rest for later.

5. Rainbow socks pizza socks box

The pizza-box packaging of these socks make them a super-fun Father’s Day gift. Just $26 on Amazon

6. Bluetooth speaker beanie

With its built-in Bluetooth speakers and a super-warm design, Dad won’t want to take this beanie off all winter! Just $28 on Amazon.

7. Fitness dice

At-home workouts are fun again with this innovative fitness dice set. Every roll gives you one of 45,000 possible routines, all are equipment-free. Only $19 at

8. Bean Box coffee subscription

If Dad likes his morning cup of Joe, he’ll love a regular delivery of fresh bags of whole bean coffee from artisanal brand Bean Box. Subscriptions start at just $16.50.

9. Chillsner

Dad will never have to wait for his drink to chill again when he has this nifty little gadget. Keep the Chillsner in the freezer and pop it into any drink for an instant chill. $10 at

10. Marvel’s greatest comics

Let Dad dive into an anthology of the greatest Marvel comics of all times, including favorites like Iron Man, Captain America and more. Get the collection here.

Use this guide to find the perfect gift for Dad that doesn’t break the budget.

Step 6 of 12 to Financial Wellness: Pay it Forward

There’s so much good you can do with the money you’ve been blessed to have. There’s also a lot of good you can do with your time, talents and possessions. Let’s explore some ways you can make the world better by paying it forward

1.      Donate funds to your favorite cause

The classic and simplest way to pay it forward is by supporting a charity or two that speaks to your heart. Make a donation that fits your budget to help make a difference. Be sure to verify the authenticity of the organization on a charity-vetting site, like Charity Navigator or CharityWatch. Don’t forget to save your receipt so you can claim a tax deduction. 

2.      Commit to do one random act of kindness each day

Kindness doesn’t have to be big, loud, or costly to make a difference. The smallest act of kindness can have a big impact on someone’s day. You can offer to make a coffee for your coworker, feed a parking meter that’s about to run out, remove a branch or rock from a busy thoroughfare or let someone go ahead of you at a checkout counter. 

3.      Write thank you letters 

When was the last time you thanked your child’s teacher, your parents or your postal carrier? Pick up a set of thank you cards, and spend 20 minutes writing thank you letters. Your letters may be cherished by the recipients for many months or years to come. 

4.      Donate your time 

Unfortunately, there are many people suffering from various hardships. With just a small donation of your time, you can help alleviate some of their suffering. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, help bring cheer to hospitals, offer to babysit for a couple who is going through hard times so they can have a night out or visit with a lonely person. You can brighten someone’s day simply with your presence!

There are so many ways to pay it forward and make the world into a better place. And when you give to others, you’re really giving to yourself by learning to be a better, kinder person. 

Don’t Get Caught in a Grandparent Scam

Grandparent scams have gotten super sneaky in recent years, which makes them difficult to spot. Here’s what to know about grandparent scams and how to avoid them. 

How the scams play out

There are several variations of the grandparent scam. In each one, the caller claims to be a grandchild of the target. The scammer often spoofs the grandchild’s number so it shows up on the grandparent’s phone. 

  • The legal trouble scam. In this ruse, a scammer claiming to be their grandchild will call and claim to have been arrested. The “grandchild” asks them to send money for posting bail. They’ll pass the phone to an alleged representative to accept the funds via wire transfer or gift cards. But this is just the scammer’s partner in crime; not a real authority figure.
  • The medical trouble scam. This version of the grandparent scam involves a “grandchild” calling up Grandma or Grandpa and claiming to be seriously injured. They’ll ask for money to help pay the medical bills. 
  • The international trouble scam. In this scam, a “grandchild” calls and claims they’re in deep trouble in a foreign country. They’ll ask for a big chunk of money to be sent by wire transfer or prepaid debit card for them to get out safely. 

If you’re targeted

If you believe you’re being targeted by a grandparent scam or a similar ruse, follow these steps to keep yourself safe:

  1. Don’t take immediate action. Pause and think it through before blindly sending money. 
  2. Ask the caller to answer a personal question only your grandchild will know. 
  3. Check your grandchild’s whereabouts by hanging up and calling your grandchild directly. Chances are, your grandchild is just fine.
  4. Hang up and report the crime to your local police department and the FTC.

Safety rules to know

It’s a good idea to follow these rules for protection from grandparent scams and other ruses:

  • Never share personal info online or on the phone with an unverified contact. 
  • If you’re asked to pay for something via money transfer or prepaid gift card, it’s probably a scam. 
  • Put your number on the no call list.
  • Keep your social media privacy settings at their strongest and limit what you share on public forums. 

Stay safe!

Olean Area FCU announces changes to Board of Directors

At Olean Area Federal Credit Union’s Annual Meeting, the financial institution’s volunteer Board of Directors announced new board appointments as well as two retirements.

Patrick Kelly, who served as Chairman of the Board since 1992, announced that he would step down from his Chair position but remain as a member of the Board of Directors. Michele Pancio, current board Vice-Chair was elected to the new Board Chair position. Michele joined the Olean Area FCU supervisory committee in 2006 and was appointed to the board in 2013. She was elected Vice-Chair in 2021. For over 30 years Michele has been co-owner of All American Financial Service and Insurance as well as Real Estate Development.

Current Board Member, Jason Crisafulli was elected as the new Vice-Chair. Jason joined the Olean Area FCU Education Committee in 2015 and was appointed to the board in 2018. Jason was the previous President of Kinley Corporation before his retirement. He also serves as Board President for the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Allegany Planning Board.

Michele stated, “Serving the credit union on the Supervisory Committee and the Board these past sixteen years has been an honor.  I am looking forward to my new role as Board Chair and the opportunity to help guide Olean Area FCU into the future.” President & CEO, Rich Yeager added, “Michele has been an integral member of our board since the day she joined us and I’m confident in her leadership going forward. I would like to thank Pat for over 30 years of dedication to our credit union as Chairman and am certain he will continue to be an advocate for our members and communities in his new role.”

Along with these recent appointments, the Board also announced the retirement of two long standing Board Members, Glenda Hall and Jean McInroy. Glenda joined the board in 1983 and Jean in 2002. Both have been an essential part in the development and growth of Olean Area FCU. Rich Yeager, stated, “We sincerely thank Glenda and Jean for their years of service to our organization and the communities we serve. Their commitment has helped make our Credit Union what it is today.”

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