President’s Point

I came across an amazing story online the other day. It was so sensational I thought, ‘why hadn’t I heard this before?’ 

The story was supported by others who were making comments and forwarding to their friends. Later, I realized this was another case of fake news.

Fake news is when false information is spread by social media, websites and other channels. Ordinarily, if something is obviously false, you chalk it up to being bogus from the outset. After all, everybody knows little green space aliens don’t exist. Right?

Well, fake news can be harder to spot.

I don’t mind a good laugh when a story turns out to be made-up and based on a less serious matter. The rumored drama of a Hollywood star is good entertainment, but does not impact my life much. Some fake news is the result of good-natured pranks.

What troubles me most is when the news is intended to trick the public into making a bad decision.

To weed out fake news, conduct research before you make a major financial move. I do every time. Before I choose an investment or buy a lawnmower, I research my choices. Even then, what sources can you trust?

Well, your Credit Union operates in a highly regulated industry with rules on how members should be treated. These rules even lay out boundaries for advertisements, disclosures and handling member complaints.

If we ignore the rules, we get in trouble. Some companies that hold themselves up as sources for financial news, don’t have the same oversight. That’s the problem. There is no regulatory agency to hold them accountable for what they say to you. If these sources spread stories to further their private interests, you can fall victim.

The next time you hear a story that seems unbelievable, it might just be fake news. Turn to your Credit Union for news and information for your money you can trust.