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Case of identity theft leads to new financial beginning

What began as a stressful case of identity theft ended with swift action by her credit union—and unexpected guidance to work toward a brighter financial future.

Carroll member overcomes identity theft and receives unexpected financial guidance from her credit union

Dupaco’s Amy Meyer (right) visits with member Felicia Ziegmann on Sept. 24 at Dupaco’s branch in Carroll, Iowa. After Ziegmann became a victim of identity theft, Dupaco quickly stopped the fraudulent check and provided unexpected financial guidance. (A. Mehl photo)

Earlier this year, Dupaco member Felicia Ziegmann, of Carroll, thought she was applying for an online loan with a legitimate company. She would later find out that the information she had provided online had been stolen and used to create a counterfeit check to steal money from her Dupaco checking account.

MORE: Tips and tools to protect yourself from fraud

Dupaco quickly flagged the check as fraudulent. But the financial cooperative didn’t stop there. Dupaco’s Amy Meyer offered to help Ziegmann review her financial picture, looking at her budget, loans and insurance.

“Amy said, ‘I can help you with all of this,’” says Ziegmann, a mother of two. “I told her, ‘Anything you can do to help would be great.’”

Meyer helped Ziegmann consolidate a couple of loans and credit card debt, which reduced her monthly payments by $225. Next, Meyer set up a separate rent account for Ziegmann so she could automatically and systematically set aside money with every paycheck to go toward her rent payments.

MORE: A free Money Makeover can help determine if debt consolidation is right for you

Dupaco Money Makeover looks at total financial picture

Ziegmann says this was the first time she had ever reviewed her entire budget like this—and found the process to be easier than she had imagined.

“It has helped me see how much money I have left over to spend each month on groceries and gas,” Ziegmann says. “It’s a lot less stressful than living paycheck to paycheck, and it’s a lot more freeing.”

Meyer also put Ziegmann in touch with Dupaco Insurance Services. By moving her auto insurance to Dupaco, Ziegmann was able to reduce her insurance premiums. The savings even included something Ziegmann didn’t have before: renter’s insurance.

MORE: Get your free insurance quote

“I was shocked,” she says. “The help from Amy and Dupaco has been life-changing. I know I’ll be sticking with Dupaco. Everybody is so friendly and always willing to help you as much as they can.”

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