Use the First Part of 2016 to Engage and Educate Members

As the new year begins, credit unions can look forward to a number of initiatives in the first part of 2016 that are excellent opportunities to engage and educate members on such topics as identity theft prevention, saving and building wealth, among other consumer protection issues.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week — January 25–29

Fraudsters are increasingly stealing peoples' identities so they can submit fraudulent tax returns. This week brings together government and other institutions to raise awareness of this growing problem. Credit unions can utilize a number of resources to educate their members on how to protect their identities and what to do if a fraudulent tax return is filed in their names. To learn more, go to http://go.usa.gov/c9k6W.

For additional information on frauds and other cyber threats, go to MyCreditUnion.gov at http://go.usa.gov/Fu9Y.

Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day — January 29

There are millions of low- to moderate-income workers who miss out on the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit because they didn't know they qualify. Credit unions should raise their members' awareness of this potential benefit and how it can help low- to moderate-income families build wealth.

MyCreditUnion.gov has additional information on the Earned Income Tax Credit at http://go.usa.gov/c9daz.

America Saves and Military Saves Week — February 22–27

These national campaigns unite government, nonprofit and corporate groups to encourage individuals, families and service members to save and build personal wealth. Both programs are managed by the Consumer Federation of America. Credit unions also can join local campaigns as well.

To learn more about these national initiatives and how to participate, go to http://go.usa.gov/cNQb5.

National Consumer Protection Week — March 6–12

This national campaign raises awareness of consumers' rights and protections. It is a perfect opportunity to educate members on the importance of financial literacy and how they can better protect themselves from frauds and scams. The campaign's website features a broad range of resources and tips on such things as health and safety, investing, shopping and savings, among others. To learn more, go to www.ncpw.gov.