In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Synergent is taking proactive measures to ensure the products and services your credit union depends on remain unaffected by any spread of the virus in our region. We also are equally committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families.
- WHO Video on COVID-19
- What Synergent Is Doing
- What Credit Unions Can Do
- Coronavirus Scams
- Additional Resources
World Health Organization Video
What Synergent Is Doing
Synergent’s comprehensive Business Continuity Plan makes us well prepared for this type of event. Our companywide remote work capabilities are regularly tested, and our facility’s infection control measures are being ramped up in response to the threat of a large outbreak.
Synergent also has canceled all events scheduled to take place over the next 30 days, including the Synergent Technology Services Committee Meeting on March 25. In addition, Synergent is suspending all non-emergency travel to credit unions, business partners, and other meetings inside and outside Maine for the same period.
What Credit Unions Can Do
Of key concern to credit unions should be the health and wellness of their employees and members and the impact disruption of services may have on communities. We recommend our credit union partners review their Business Continuity Plans to reduce the likelihood of operations being significantly affected by a pandemic event. We also recommend you read NCUA’s Guidance on Pandemic Planning.
To help keep your credit union protected if a significant outbreak occurs in the region, we recommend the following:
- Assign someone to monitor CDC, WHO, and other public health agencies, and be ready to implement new directions.
- Encourage your employees and members to wash their hands frequently.
- Increase your internal supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, tissues, and cleaning wipes.
- Conduct extra cleaning of doorknobs, light switches, and public space equipment.
- Consider removing queue equipment, as members will absentmindedly touch the rails and poles. The fewer things to touch, the better.
- Contact your key vendors to ensure they will be able to continue providing continuous service during this time.
- Assign someone to sanitize the teller counters at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Make all pens one-time use, asking members to take them with them as they leave.
- Implement social distancing to limit face-to-face contact in branches.
- Allow as many staff members as possible to work from home.
- Increase options to disburse staff, especially if some lobbies are closed.
- Direct branch traffic to drive-through lanes, close lobbies/branches if needed, and encourage alternate delivery channels (online, mobile, RDC).
- Notify employees of possible exposure if an employee is infected with the virus, and follow CDC guidance for conducting a risk assessment.
- Consider the impact a local school closure may have on your staff’s availability.
- Print and display the CDC’s handouts and posters.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to keep you updated as needed.
Criminals are contacting individuals and claiming to work for the World Health Organization (WHO) to solicit data. If you or a member is contacted by a representative claiming to be with WHO, verify their authenticity before responding and remember, the WHO will never:
- Ask you to login to view safety information
- Email attachments you didn’t ask for
- Request you visit a link outside of www.who.int
- Charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference, or reserve a hotel
- Conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates, or funding through email
- Ask you to donate directly to emergency response plans or funding appeals
WHO also is warning the public about email phishing scams that ask people to provide personal information, click a suspicious link, and/or open a malicious attachment. According to its website, WHO will not transmit email from addresses ending in ‘@who.com,’ ‘@who.org,’ or ‘@who-safety.org.’ The organization also is encouraging people to visit their website instead of clicking links in emails.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers to ignore online offers for vaccinations or cures claiming they can prevent the Coronavirus. Consumers also should do their homework before making donations to charities or crowdfunding sites to confirm the legitimacy of the organization, and never wire money or send gift cards.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is encouraging people to be cautious about investment opportunities in companies claiming “the products or services of that publicly-traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus.”
Remember, criminals prey on peoples’ vulnerabilities and they pay attention to news headlines. By staying diligent and communicating about these latest threats with our members, credit unions can help prevent fraudulent activity.
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease – Information about the virus, situation updates, and information for travelers, businesses, and others.
- World Health Organization – Daily updates on the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Coronavirus: Scammers follow the headlines
- Warnings sent to sellers of scam coronavirus treatments