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Watch out for tax scams in the new year on 12/28/2016

While scams tend to happen more often during the holiday season, people need to stay vigilant all year round. According to the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker website consumers in Michigan were hit by more than 500 scams in 2016. Over 25% of the scams listed were tax related. Often times people did not fall for the scam and nothing was lost, but in one instance a scammer stole $94,000 from a Norton Shores resident.  Click Here to read more about various scams across Michigan. 

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Watch out for Holiday scams on 11/21/2016
Just in time for the holiday season - a slew of new scams trying deceive shoppers.  Hundreds of fake retail and product apps are now showing up in the Apple App Store. The fake apps pretend to be retail chains like Foot Locker, department stores like Dillard's or luxury retailers like Christian Dior. Some of the apps just play tons of annoying pop-ads, others ask for credit card information that can expose users to potential financial fraud. CLICK HERE to read an in-depth article from the New York Times.

Education is the best way to protect yourself from holiday scams. Crooks like to exploit the chaos of the holiday season. Here are just a few scams to be aware of:

  • Fake charity scam - Research any charity before contributing.
  • Online shopping scam - Secure websites have https at the beginning of their URL.
  • Email cheap deal scam - Don't click the links in the body of the email if you haven't subscribed to the email list
  • Holiday job scam - Be alert to fake job postings or work at home scams.
  • Home delivery scam - Never call back or give out personal or financial information.
  • Phishing scam - Watch for email, text message and phone calls asking for personal or financial information for you to participate in a winning.
  • Fake tech support scam - If you didn't call them, hang up.
  • ATM skimming scam - Examine ATMs before swiping your card. If it's a chip card, use the chip if the device is chip enabled.
  • Coupon scam - Don't respond if they request personal or financial information.
  • Fake check scam - Never send funds back on any overpayment check.
  • E-card scam - Take extra caution before clicking on an e-card/invite.
  • Social engineering scam - Be alert to individuals asking for information and be careful what you post on social media sites.

You should also keep a close eye on your credit and debit card transactions. View statements and transaction history and be alert to any purchases that may be suspicious or abnormal. Report any unusual activity on your American 1 credit or debit cards to our Card Services department immediately. 

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American 1 Credit Union restores transactions at all Wendy’s restaurant locations. on 11/18/2016
A little over one month after American 1 Credit Union announced that, in a bold move, they would temporarily be declining all credit and debit card transactions at Wendy’s, American 1 has restored transactions to Wendy’s on all of their cards.
American 1 originally reported that they believed the malware responsible for the Wendy’s cyberattacks was not contained due to reports from community members of fraudulent activity on their accounts even after reissuance of their debit or credit card. In a move to protect their members’ accounts, the credit union made the decision to decline all credit and debit card transactions at any Wendy’s location until they felt certain the information breach at Wendy’s had indeed been contained.

In a statement this morning, American 1 Credit Union CEO David Puckett said, “After numerous conversations with both Visa and Mastercard, we feel confident that Wendy’s has been able to successfully contain their data breach and that our members’ card information will be safe when used at Wendy’s locations. Our members are our top priority,” continues Puckett. “We are committed to doing whatever we need to do to keep their information safe and secure.”

American 1 has the largest card base of any financial institution in the Jackson County area with over 47,000 issued cards. The credit union reported that over 18,000 of their cards were compromised during the Wendy’s cyberattacks. The amount of stolen money American 1 returned to its members is just shy of the amount returned in the Home Depot cyberattacks with additional disputes being resolved daily.
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American 1 Credit Union Announces New Convention Center at Jackson County Fairgrounds on 11/4/2016

American 1 Credit Union is proud to announce the construction of a new convention center whose future location will be at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. The American 1 Convention Center will be a completely new structure that will be complimentary to the existing American 1 Event Center. An unveiling ceremony was held on Friday, November 4 at the future site of the building. At the ceremony, American 1 Credit Union presented a $4 million check to Jackson County to contribute to the construction of the convention center. 

The convention center is part of a larger use plan for the fairground site created by Jackson County officials. Construction on the American 1 Convention Center will begin in 2017. The new building will be sited on the southeastern side of the fairground property, along Ganson Street and the Grand River. 

“We chose the future location of the American 1 Convention Center in an effort to help renew the former glory of the Grand River,” said American 1 Credit union Board Chairman Philip E. Hoffman. “With the river running along the eastern border of the fairgrounds, it was the obvious choice for a beautiful new convention center building.”

The new building will feature a large expo space that can be sectioned off for smaller events. Additional rooms will be able accommodate conferences with multiple sessions. The facility will also include a full kitchen for catering services. It will be the largest, purpose-built convention space available in Jackson County.  

On American 1’s involvement in the construction of a new convention center, American 1 Credit Union President and CEO David Puckett said, “While many credit unions were established by large industries and corporations, American 1 was started by our community and that is where we continue to be rooted. When our community is successful, we’re successful,” said Puckett. 

“We look for innovative ways we can thank our community by giving back to them,” Hoffman added. “We feel that this new convention center provides the perfect venue for celebration – celebrating life events, local commerce, and most of all, our accomplishments as a community.”
 

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American 1 celebrates International Credit Union Week with a giveaway! on 10/17/2016

American 1 Credit Union is celebrating International Credit Union Week and the Buy Michigan Now Fall Fest by giving away a Michigan-made goodie basket at each of our branches.  We are proud to be Michigan and support our community. That's why the baskets feature great items made in the Mitten.  Anyone can stop into any branch all this week and fill out a form to be entered. One entry per branch visit. It's our way of celebrating the credit union difference and saying thank you to our members for choosing to Finance Local.

We are also excited to be presenting the 2nd annual Buy Michigan Now Fall Fest in the American 1 Event Center at the Jackson Co. Fairgrounds. The event is free, but you'll want to bring cash to shop all the great Made in Michigan products. It's October 22 from 11am to 5pm and October 23 from 10am to 4pm.

 

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American 1 Credit Union declines Wendy’s transactions in light of malicious cyberattacks. on 10/6/2016

On Wednesday, September 29, American 1 Credit Union announced that, effective Monday, October 3, all American 1 credit and debit cards would be temporarily declined at all Wendy’s restaurant locations. While Wendy’s has reported that the malware responsible for the cyberattacks has been disabled at all franchise locations affected by the data breach, community members have still been reporting fraudulent activity on their accounts, even after reissuance of their debit or credit card. Therefore, in order to protect member accounts, the credit union made the decision to decline all credit and debit card transactions at any Wendy’s location until further notice. 

American 1 Credit Union’s total losses to date due to the Wendy’s cyberattack are equal to the losses taken with the Home Depot data breach in 2014, and continue to grow. During the Home Depot cyberattacks, over 4,200 cards were reissued. Of the stolen funds returned to members’ accounts, only 11% of that amount was covered by insurance, with American 1 paying for the remaining 89% of losses out of pocket. 

“When malicious cyberattacks like the recent attack on Wendy’s occur, there are many victims,” said David Puckett, CEO of American 1. “Not only are the cardholders’ assets put at risk, but the financial institutions that issued the cards are left to foot the bill of any resulting theft – not wanting their members to suffer from an unfortunate event that was neither party’s fault. It’s a no-win situation.” 

American 1 has the largest card base of any financial institution in the Jackson County area with over 47,000 issued cards. Over 18,000 of those cards were compromised with the recent Wendy’s cyberattacks. The amount of stolen money American 1 has already returned to its members is just shy of the amount returned in the Home Depot cyberattacks with additional disputes being resolved daily.

“Until we are confident that our members’ cards are no longer at risk when used at Wendy’s, we will continue declining the transactions,” continues Puckett. “As their local credit union, the best interest of our members is our number one priority.”

American 1 has provided additional information regarding the Wendy’s cyberattacks and card use safety tips on their website, www.american1cu.org.

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The cost of data breaches continues to pile up for consumers and financial institutions. on 9/28/2016

When it feels like data breaches happen every week at major retailers and franchises, how can you feel safe about using your debit or credit card?  Some larger data breaches at franchises have cost customers and financial institutions tens of millions of dollars. While fraud is becoming more common, there are things people can do to better protect themselves and their hard earned money.

Tip #1 - Always use the “credit” option when using a debit or credit card. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account. Typically most issuers will reimburse that $50 as well, which means you usually won’t be out any money in the end.

Tip #2 - Don’t rely on just one card, if possible. Use one credit card for retail and online purchases, and possibly another credit card for recurring bills. You could then use your debit card at credit union owned ATMs to get cash. Putting your purchases on a credit card protects your bank account. Using a credit card also limits your liability, and having a separate card for monthly bills should help you avoid the headaches of having to redo recurring billing if your other card is compromised.
 
Tip #3 - If you have a newer mobile phone, you can take advantage of services like Apple Pay that use advanced tokenization and encryption to protect data. Many retailers are now offering this technology to accept payments. Once your credit card is loaded and encrypted on your phone, you just use your thumbprint and phone to make purchases. And because this technology encrypts your card information, there is no chance of your card information being compromised even if a retailer is hacked.

Until retailers and restaurants are held to the same standards as financial institutions, data breaches will continue to happen. But you can minimize the effects by following these few simple rules and changing some of your purchasing habits.
 

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Consumers Should be on Alert for Fraudulent NCUA Text Messages on 9/7/2016

The National Credit Union Administration has received additional consumer calls about suspicious text messages claiming to come from the agency.  The messages read: “National Credit Union Administration Alert for (recipient's phone number). Contact 844-234-5445.” Other fraudulent phone numbers to be alert for are 855-340-1398 and 844-906-0773. 

These texts are not communications from NCUA. The agency does not seek personal information through the internet or on the telephone. Please contact NCUA's Consumer Assistance Center at 1-800-755-1030 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern if you receive one of these messages. NCUA also recommends contacting your credit union and local law enforcement as well. 

You may also contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. NCUA operates an online Fraud Prevention Center that offers information about avoiding frauds and scams on its MyCreditUnion.gov website.

If you suspect you may have become a victim of identity theft because of this scam, you should immediately contact the three major credit bureaus and request a fraud alert be placed on your credit report: Equifax (888-766-0008), Experian (888-397-3742), and TransUnion (800-680-7289).

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American 1 Credit Union elects Philip E. Hoffman as new Board Chairman on 9/6/2016

American 1 Credit Union elected Philip E. Hoffman of Jackson as Chairman for the Board of Directors at their annual meeting on August 18th.  The credit union thanked and acknowledged longtime Chairman Al Eichenberg for his service as he transitions to vice-chair on the board. Eichenberg served as Chairman for 20 years helping lead the growth of American 1 Credit Union.  He oversaw the opening of several new branches, a pair of credit union mergers, and a membership increase that now totals over 54,000.  

Hoffman joined the American 1 Credit Union board in 1998 and has served as vice-chair for many of those years.  He takes over the Chairmanship as the credit union continues to strenghthen financially and expand it’s footprint.  Hoffman is active in the community serving on the Jackson College Board of Trustees since 2004, and is a former elected legislator serving as a state representative from 1983-1993, and state senator from 1993-2003.

Also during the American 1 Credit Union annual meeting Bishop Ira Combs, Jr., D.D. was elected as Treasurer, and Jerry Tremaine as Secretary. 
 

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New Online Banking launches July 6th on 7/12/2016

American 1 Credit Union is pleased to offer members a brand new online banking platform. American 1 worked with developers for several months to create a user-friendly, yet powerful system that gives members more information, features and options at their fingertips.  

Our member experience is the most important to American 1 and that’s why if you’ve previously enrolled in Bill Pay, all of your information will carry over. All of your transaction history will be available, and access to your e-statements, checks and receipts will remain familiar too.  We’ve worked to make the online banking platform robust with upgrades in four key areas: security, design, communication and account interactivity. 

Security features include stronger password requirements, required security questions, image and phrase, an automated password reset and an event log to track Online Banking activity.  Design changes include, new menus for easy navigation, easy to read screens and text, graphs and charts to track saving and spending and drag and drop functionality to personalize account layout. A secure messaging system and customizable account alerts are new communication features.  While member accounts will now feature searchable transactions, personalized account names, a pending transactions and recent transactions view, an export to Excel function, and the ability to create notes or upload files or images to transactions. 

To go along with the new online banking system is a brand new mobile application that is under development with an expected release in the Fall of 2016.  

To find out more and register your account in online banking CLICK HERE.

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Data breach affects over 1,000 Wendy's restaurant locations on 7/12/2016

The Wendy’s restaurant chain is the latest target of a wide-spread data breach that is affecting credit and debit card information.  Restaurants across Michigan and many other states are affected and this incident is said to have impacted more cardholders than the recent breaches of Target and Home Depot. The safety and security of our members card account data is a priority for American 1 Credit Union.

American 1 monitors members’ cards for fraudulent activity 24-hours a day, but with the recent data breach we are encouraging individuals, that have used their card at an affected Wendy’s restaurant, to stop into any branch and have a new card issued instantly.  Members can find a list of affected Wendy’s restaurants here. New cards will be issued to members free of charge, and members have no liability for fraudulent activity on their American 1 cards.

So what does this latest data breach mean for credit unions? CLICK HERE for an article and video from the Michigan Credit Union League. 

As a reminder when you are issued a new card, if you have any pre-authorized, recurring payments setup to come from your card account, please notify the merchant(s) of your new account number immediately to avoid any interruption in service. We also recommend that you regularly review and monitor your statements and account activity and notify us of any unauthorized activity. Again, you will NOT be held accountable for fraudulent charges on your account.

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$15,000 in Scholarships Awarded to High School Seniors on 4/27/2016

American 1 Credit Union has awarded 15 high school graduates from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service.  American 1 offered the awards through the annual Community Involvement Scholarship Program.  Each student who applied submitted an essay on the benefits of altruism and how the student has impacted his or her community through their involvement. The scholarships are funded through American 1’s Skip-a-Pay program, where credit union members can choose to skip one month’s loan payment for $25. That $25 funds the scholarship program. 

The 2016 American 1 Community Involvment Scholarship winners are:
•    Kennedy Koebbe of Brooklyn
•    Kayla Burmis of Jerome
•    Abbie Moccio of Milan
•    Michaela Travis of Addison
•    Ashlee Bartlett of Cement City
•    Savannah Anderson of Jackson
•    Duncan Farrant of Horton
•    Alex Collins of Litchfield
•    Peri Kurtzman of Bellevue
•    Hannah Taylor of Brooklyn
•    Rebecca Maynard of Jackson
•    Rachel Coy of Troy
•    Olivia York of Jackson
•    Gabrielle Truong of Birmingham
•    Emma Dubensky of Cement City
 

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2016 Jackson Women's Expo continues its growth! on 3/14/2016
Another expo packed with vendors and value, plus some nice spring temperatures, helped make 2016 another successful year for the American 1 Jackson Women’s Expo with over 2,700 guests in attendance. Now in its 14th year American 1 Credit Union has hosted 21 Women’s Expos during that time. Attendees were able to browse products and learn about businesses and services from nearly 180 vendors, with about 50 new vendors taking part in the spring expo.
 
As with all American 1 events the focus is giving back. For the second year the American Red Cross held a blood drive in conjunction with the expo and had 26 people sign-up with 17 individuals giving.  Other charities benefitting from over $2,600 in event donations include: Jackson School of the Arts, Women’s Leadership Council, Hanover-Horton American Legion, Marriage Matters Jackson and Girl Scouts Troop #60196.
 
The American 1 Jackson Women’s Expo is popular with many area businesses and returning vendors.  That includes supporting businesses like Gold Crown Jewelers who gave away jewelry and helped American 1 give away $2,500 in prizes. Other businesses contributed including the Westwood Mall, Polly’s Country Market and K-Mart serving as shuttle parking locations with around 300 guests taking part in the service.  American 1 Credit Union is proud to host positive family events like the Jackson Women’s Expo, and we appreciate the opportunity to give back to the communities we serve.
 
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American 1 Paws & Claws Pet Expo Raises $5,000 for Cascades Humane Society on 2/17/2016
 JACKSON, Mich. – On Saturday, February 13th despite the weather, several hundred area residents attended the American 1 Paws & Claws Pet Expo and helped raise funds to benefit the Cascades Humane Society (CHS).
All vendor fees, concession proceeds, craft area donations, and contest proceeds were donated to CHS. CHS also received donated items for the shelter such as pet food, toys, litter, etc.
 
The event had a Pet Fashion show which featured animals from CHS that were available for adoption with several finding good homes. This year’s Top Dog Model award went to the lovable Lady, who sauntered down the dog walk and was most certainly a crowd favorite. The Facebook Pet Photo Contest had over 100 entries. The winner was Connie Strine with her pups Pebbles and Izzy.
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American 1 Offers $15,000 in Scholarships on 2/17/2016

Jackson, MI - American 1 Credit Union is pleased to offer over 15 scholarships valued at $1,000 each to high school seniors in Michigan through the annual Community Involvement Scholarship Program. 

Each student who applies for the scholarship will submit an essay, in 1,500 words or less, on the benefits of altruism and how the student has impacted his or her community through their involvement. Scholarships are funded through American 1’s Skip-a-Pay program, where credit union members can choose to skip one month’s loan payment for $25. That $25 funds the scholarship program. 

Scholarship applications are available under the Events tab, and then selecting Giving Back.  The application deadline is Friday, February 26th 2016.

 

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American 1 Gives Out $5,000 in Gifts as Surprise Santas on 12/15/2015

Jackson, MI - American 1 Credit Union teamed up with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Meijer to spread some holiday cheer this week.  American 1 purchased $5,000 worth of Christmas gifts to give out to random individuals in the community.

A sheriff’s deputy would initiate a traffic stop, and start a conversation with the driver about their Christmas plans.  As the driver spoke to the officer, American 1 staff were listening in and would relay information back to additional staff to do the shopping.  Another deputy would help race the items out to the traffic stop location and surprise the driver.

“I want to thank American 1 for their continued community partnership.  This particular event was an enjoyable way to share American 1 and the Office of the Sheriff’s sentiments about the people we serve,” said Sheriff Steve Rand.  He added, “Staff at the Sheriff’s Office is grateful for the relationship we share with American 1 and the Jackson Community.  We wish everyone in the community a very Merry Christmas”.
 
“It’s only because of the strong support from our members and dedicated staff that we are able to give back to our community,” said Vice-President of Marketing and Communications, Kristi Edgar.

The gifts ranged from televisions, ipads and video game systems, to powerwheels and Frozen childrens items. The event took place on December 2 and 3.  Photographs and video are available at the American 1 Facebook page.  American 1 wants to thank the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Meijer for helping us coordinate this community giving effort.  

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American 1 Awarded 5-Star Rating from Bankrate.com on 11/30/2015

Jackson, MI - American 1 Credit Union has been recognized as a 5-Star financial institution by Bankrate.com’s Safe & Sound Ratings service, one of only three credit unions in Michigan to receive the highest rating.  The “Superior” rating is a ranking of relative financial strength and stability.  For 17 years Bankrate.com has given consumers information on the relative strength and stability of banks, savings institutions and credit unions.

“In today’s economic climate, it’s important for consumers to trust that their money is protected,” said Scott Kim, CEO of Bankrate.com. “Earning a 4- or 5-star designation from the Safe & Sound® Star Rating is traditionally a strong indicator of financial strength and stability in a financial institution,” Mr. Kim added.

“Knowing the strong reputation Bankrate has, it’s a distinct privilege to be rated 5-stars,” said David Puckett, President, CEO of American 1 Credit Union.  “This designation is only possible because of the loyalty of our members, and the dedicated work of our staff.”

To learn more about Bankrate’s Safe & Sound ratings methodology, go to Bankrate.com Safe & Sound Ratings.

About Bankrate, Inc. (NYSE:RATE)
Bankrate is a leading online publisher, aggregator, and distributor of personal finance content. 
 

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American 1 Raises $5,200 for Adopt A US Soldier program on 11/19/2015
American 1 Credit Union is proud to give back and support our military men and women who are serving overseas. During the months of September and October American 1 raised funds in a variety of ways to support the Adopt A U.S. Soldier Program.  Adopt A US Soldier is a non-profit organization that connects supportive civilians with deployed troops and offers a way to communicate encouragement and gratitude to those brave men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. American 1 Credit Union raises funds annually for the Adopt A US Soldier program to send care packages overseas in time for the Holidays.

During the month of September, employees raised money by donating for dress down days. The American 1 Home Office, North Street, Hillsdale and Vandercook branch locations held special “Popcorn Friday’s” to get donations from members. During the month of October, college-themed can coolers were sold at every branch as a fundraiser. A total of $5,226.68 was raised.

The funds allowed American 1 to adopt four units this year, comprised of over 250 soldiers. Supplies and care packages will be purchased and prepared for the units and mailed out prior to Thanksgiving to ensure the packages reach the troops by Christmas.
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Coming Soon - Apple Pay on 10/15/2015

American 1 works to ensure members have secure and simple ways to access their funds - that's why we plan to offer Apple Pay.  American 1 will offer Apple Pay on all of our Visa credit cards, and our debit Mastercards.  Members will be able to use Apple Pay with their iPhone 6 and make purchases at any participating stores and restaurants.

American 1 expects to have Apple Pay available to members just after the new year.  Look for more information on Apple Pay and American 1 in the coming weeks.

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New EMV chip-based cards coming soon to American 1 on 10/2/2015

Ensuring the security of our member’s information and finances is a priority for American 1 Credit Union.  That’s why we have been in the process of upgrading our credit and debit cards to the new chip-based EMV card.  Many other financial institutions have also begun to upgrade their cards and that has created a bottleneck in the changeover process.  American 1 is forging ahead to ensure that members can receive EMV cards in a timely fashion. 

While there are many media reports about an “EMV deadline” in reality, October 1, was simply a shift in who is responsible for fraud reimbursement.   American 1 has and will continue to ensure the burden of liability does not fall onto members.  Our members are the first priority.

American 1 wants to ensure members that our debit and credit cards will continue to work at any retailer that accepts Visa and Mastercard.  Card usage for members will not be interrupted and will function normally – despite any media reports stating otherwise.  Even when we begin to phase-in the EMV chip-based cards, our current cards will continue to function as members have come to expect.

  • A survey in September from CreditCard.com found that only 40% of credit cardholders have received a chip card. 
  • Another study from card transaction processor, Fiserv, found that only 19% of debit cardholders currently have EMV cards.
  • Only about one-quarter (26%) of national and regional merchants – stores and restaurants with multiple locations – have started to accept chip cards. 

While EMV cards will make transactions more secure (learn why and how the process works) it will take time to replace current technology.  American 1 Credit Union is committed to protecting our members and ensuring the use of their credit or debit card is convenient throughout the entire process of upgrading to EMV chip-based cards.

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American 1 mourns the loss of longest serving board member on 9/2/2015
Jerry Sisk
June 15, 1937 - August 15, 2015

For over 35 years, Jerry D. Sisk, served the members of American 1 Credit Union through his involvement on the board of directors. Sisk passed away on Saturday, August 15th. 

Jerry worked for 30 years at Jackson Drop Forge and was also longtime President of UAW Local 62. He was a veteran having served in the Army. Jerry was elected to the American 1, Board of Directors in 1979. While on the board he served as Treasurer and oversaw the growth of American 1 from approximately 9,000 members to its current size of over 55,000 members today. Jerry was also on the Board of Directors as Jackson Cooperative Credit Union transitioned to become American 1 Credit Union. 

In his retirement Jerry enjoyed driving the school bus for Vandercook Lake, Michigan Center and Lumen Cristi. He also had a heart for his four-legged friends. American 1 Credit Union, and our members, are the beneficiaries of Jerry’s dedication and insight. The work he accomplished at American 1 will have a lasting impact. 

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American 1 mourns the loss of a long-time board member on 7/6/2015

Chet “Coach” Radabaugh was a strong supporter of credit unions, serving for 32 years as a board member of American 1 Credit Union.  Chet passed away on June 27th.

He started serving on the Jackson Co-Op Federal Credit Union Supervisory Committee and Board of Directors and was instrumental in the name change to American 1.  He began as a volunteer board member in 1983 and oversaw many changes while serving as the board Chairman and Vice-Chairman at the credit union.  Chet’s credit union roots were deep as he had worked at Huron River Credit Union and was the CEO at Catholic Credit Union in Jackson.

Chet was also very involved in his community.  He was an active coach at Northwest Schools in Jackson for many years.  He often volunteered his time to work with special needs students at the school.  He had a big heart and was a strong community supporter.  His positive attitude and kindness were contagious and inspired those around him.  

American 1 Credit Union is proud to have had Chet Radabaugh as a board member and cannot extend enough appreciation of his service, leadership and support.  The work he accomplished at American 1 will benefit members and our community well in t​o the future.

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American 1 Credit Union Awards $15,000 in Scholarships on 6/24/2015
American 1 Credit Union awarded 15 high school graduates from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service.
The 2015 American 1 Community Involvement Award winners were:
 
  • Kathleen Sanders of West Bloomfield
  • James Cook of Beverly Hills
  • Sabrina Angel of Jonesville
  • Emily Wagler of Jerome
  • Hadleigh Buchler of Jackson
  • Katlyn Sheeks of Brooklyn
  • Holly Hendershot of Pleasant Lake
  • Matthew Bundas of Clarklake
  • Shannon Wood of Jackson
  • Courtney Wolf of Morrice
  • Gary Henderson JR of Lansing
  • Nathaniel Herrick of Jackson
  • Emily Esser of Jackson
  • Hunter Thelen of Jackson
  • James Darby of Michigan Center
 
All of the students were highly involved in both extra-curricular activities and in their communities while in high school.  Each wrote a 1,500-word-or-less essay on the benefits of altruism and how they improved their community through service.
 
American 1 has rewarded deserving and community-minded high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships since 2000.  Scholarships are funded through American 1’s skip-a-pay program, which allows members to skip one month’s loan payment for a donation of $25.
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Possible Data Breach at Firekeepers Casino on 5/8/2015

Security is important to American 1 and we want members to know that we are ready to help if your personal or financial data is ever compromised.  Part of being secure is knowledge.  We want members to be aware that recently Firekeepers Casino may have been the target of a data breach.  American 1 is actively monitoring our member's cards for suspicious activity.  Read the entire story here.

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Important Information About the Recent Anthem Breach on 3/11/2015

 Below is a letter from from Ken Dallafior, executive vice president, Commercial Business, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan:

Thank you for your patience while we have been working around-the-clock with Anthem to get more information about the recent cyber-attack on Anthem’s database. I wanted to provide you with the most up-to-date information to help you answer questions you are receiving.

We’ve learned that information for some members of your group may have been in the Anthem database, and I want you to know what we’re doing to help your members.

I’m sending you:

  • A copy of a letter that we will be sending to your affected members’ households starting on Friday and through next week. While Anthem is in the process of mailing official notices to all affected members nationally, we are sending a courtesy letter to affected BCBSM and Blue Care Network members’ households to advise them of the situation and inform them that they can enroll in free credit monitoring and also can find information about accessing identity theft repair by visiting anthemfacts.com or calling 1-877-263-7995.

Also, Anthem is offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft repair to BCBSM or BCN members whose personal information could be affected if they live — or traveled to and received health services — in one of the 14 states where Anthem operates. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Your employees or members who might be affected can visit anthemfacts.com to start the process to enroll in free credit and identity theft monitoring from Anthem. Members can go to the site and verify they are a current or former member (from 2004 on) of a Blue Cross plan and request a redemption code.

Going online is strongly encouraged, but those who do not have access to the Internet can call Anthem’s established toll-free information number, 1-877-263-7995, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Saturday, to ask for assistance to begin the enrollment process for credit monitoring.

Those who might be affected do not have to wait to receive a letter in the mail. They can go directly to the website or call the toll-free line.

Our security practices

In light of the Anthem incident, our customers have been understandably inquiring about our own security practices. Be assured that we take careful precautions to protect our customers’ personal information from unauthorized access. We have heightened our vigilance and are working closely with external security partners as additional support when testing our applications and infrastructure.

I hope you find this helpful. As Anthem provides us with more information, including any additional potentially impacted members, we will certainly send it to you.

If you would like further information, please contact your account manager and/or agent.

Sincerely,

Ken Dallafior
Executive Vice President, Commercial Business

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Data Security: How American 1 is Looking Out For You on 3/5/2015

As data breaches at merchants continue to permeate the news, we want you to know that American 1 is ready to help if your personal or financial data is ever compromised. We take service to our members seriously and will do everything we can to ensure that action is taken – quickly – to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity or account theft.

Your credit union is subject to strong data security standards established by Congress and federal regulators. While data breaches can happen anywhere, we are ready with a plan designed to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your sensitive data.

Unfortunately, merchants and retailers aren’t subject to these federal requirements. Many of them follow their own data security standards, but, as the crush of data breaches over the last couple of years has shown, these self-imposed merchant standards are no substitute for a stronger federal standard. When it comes to protecting your personal information, every measure counts.

When your debit or credit card data is breached at a merchant, the cost of card replacement or account reimbursement to you is typically paid by your credit union and not the retailer where the breach occurred. Unfortunately, this can become a very expensive proposition for the credit union, as we are often never reimbursed for these costs by merchants—as there is no liability requirement on them to pay for data breaches that occur on their watch.

We want you to know that in the event of any breach affecting your accounts, this credit union will always do what we can to make you whole. In the meantime, credit unions around the country are leading the effort to get Congress to pass legislation ensuring merchants and retailers meet a national standard for protecting any of your financial data they collect when you make a purchase and are held liable for breaches that occur on their end. We hope you will support us in this effort.

While we can’t control what happens at merchants and retailers, we want you to know that we will do everything we can to assist you and your family if a breach does occur when you use your debit or credit card. You can always feel free to reach our member service department at 888-213-2848.

 

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Finance Local with American 1 on 2/20/2015

Have you ever considered the difference you make when you shop at a local business? You help keep jobs and dollars in the community, and preserve a business that makes where we live unique. Now take that one step further, what if you financed local? What if the credit card in your wallet was from a local financial institution like American 1 Credit Union? What if you purchased a vehicle from an area dealership, and financed it with American 1 Credit Union in Jackson, Michigan - not some big bank in New York that’s only concerned about shareholders? That is buying power that supports, strengthens, and grows our communities.

Financing local is taking the idea of shopping local that extra step. It’s a way of doing business that extends an extra hand to our communities. When the businesses where we live thrive, then the quality of life in our hometown improves. Buying local is only half the equation. Finance local. Support your local financial institutions.

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American 1 Credit Union Offers $15,000 in Scholarships on 1/27/2015

 American 1 Credit Union is pleased to offer 15 scholarships valued at $1,000 each to high school seniors in Michigan through the annual Community Involvement Scholarship Program.

Each student who applies for the scholarship will submit an essay, in 1,500 words or less, on the benefits of altruism and how the student has impacted his or her community through their involvement. Scholarships are funded through American 1’s Skip-a-Pay program, where credit union members can choose to skip one month’s loan payment for $25. That $25 funds the scholarship program.

Scholarship applications are available online at www.American1CU.org, under the Events tab, and then selecting Giving Back.  The application deadline is Friday, February 20th 2015.

 

Email applications to: scholarship@a1cu.org

(.doc, .docx, or .pdf files only)

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Home Depot Breach on 9/26/2014

 Recently it was brought to our attention that Home Depot may have experienced a breach in their card processing data. This means that some cardholder information could be at risk for fraud, but it does not mean that any fraudulent activity has actually occurred or will occur.

We want you to be protected and comfortable using your card. In fact, your card with us comes with zero liability*, which means you are not responsible for fraudulent purchases made with your card. In addition, we assure that each transaction you perform on your card account is monitored to identify unusual activity.

Home Depot also recently announced free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, for anyone who had used their card at any of their locations from April 2014 on.

You can read more about the breach and sign up for identity protection on Home Depots website,https://corporate.homedepot.com/mediacenter/pages/statement1.aspx

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to get in contact with our local branch.

*As long as noticed fraud is reported promptly to the credit union.

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American 1 CU Wins Governor’s Service Award on 7/9/2014

 Jackson, MI – American 1 Credit Union was selected as the 2014 Corporate Community Leader as part of the Michigan Governor’s Service awards. The awards were presented on Monday, June 30th during a ceremony at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.
The Governor’s Service Awards honor exemplary volunteer service by individuals, organizations and a business. The Corporate Community Leader award honors businesses that demonstrate excellent corporate citizenship by giving back to their community through corporate volunteer programs, monetary contributions, in-kind gifts, and employee-driven volunteer service.
In 2013, American 1 donations and sponsorships to the community totaled more than $100,000 between corporate donations and employee fundraising contributions. American 1 hosts 12 annual events for the public, with the income from booth fees and concessions going to local non-profits. American 1 offers a scholarship program for high school seniors where credit union members donate $25 to the program to skip one month’s loan payment; in 2013, 15 $1,000 scholarships were awarded to local students.
On American 1 Credit Union receiving the recognition, Kristi Edgar, Vice President of Marketing said “We’re thrilled and honored to be recognized by the Governor with the award for Corporate Community Leader. Being a member-owned, local financial institution it’s the mission of ourboard of directors and the entire American 1 team to give back to the communities we serve.
We’re proud to be Michigan and show it through our free community events, volunteerism, and donations. It’s because of the continued support from our loyal membership though, that we’ve been fortunate enough to fulfill our commitment to the community.”
American 1 Credit Union serves over 50,000 members through 13 branches in 7 counties.
Based in Jackson, American 1 is proud to be Michigan, hosting more than 10 free, familyfriendly events every year in the areas we serve. We strive to give back and to be a truly, local financial option for our communities.

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Fifteen Michigan graduates win $1,000 scholarships on 5/13/2014

 American 1 Credit Union awarded 15 high school graduates from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service.

The 2014 American 1 Community Involvement Award winners were:

• Jacob Shields of Rives Junction
• Carlie Connolly of Brooklyn
• Caitlin Kolevar of Jackson
• Nicholas Chames of Jackson
• Devan Potts-Rollins of Jackson
• Paul Wozniak of Chelsea
• Erinjen Lin of Dexter
• Zealand Smith of Chelsea
• Branden Bisher of Hillsdale
• Ashley Ladd of Bellvue
• Stephanie George of Battle Creek
• Milan Morrissette of Springfield
• Lance McDougal of Southfield
• Jonathan Moy of West Bloomfield Twp
• Lea Peuterbaugh of Petersburg

All of the students were highly involved in both extra-curricular activities and in their communities while in high school. Each wrote a 1,500-word-or-less essay on the benefits of altruism and how they improved their community through service.

American 1 has rewarded deserving and community-minded high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships since 2000. Scholarships are funded through American 1’s skip-a-pay program, which allows members to skip one month’s loan payment for a donation of $25.

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Jackson Co. Sheriff to receive donation of AEDs valued at $30,000 on 5/7/2014

 The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will receive 15 brand new Automated External Defibrillators for patrol cars and the marine division, thanks to a donation from American 1 Credit Union.

Communities across Michigan have been dealing with budget constraints and Jackson County is no different. Seeing a need, and wanting to help the community, American 1 Credit Union reached out to Sheriff Steven Rand about donating the new devices.

At one time deputies carried AEDs, but they became obsolete after the manufacturer stopped supporting the devices and they exceeded their useful life. It has been nearly 4 years since

Jackson County Sheriff’s patrol cars last carried the devices. Often times deputies are the first responders in emergency situations and having AEDs can save lives. All departmental staff are already trained in CPR and the deployment of AEDs, and the new devices will be compatible with JCA Paramedics equipment.

On the donation Sheriff Steven Rand said “On behalf of Jackson County I want to express my deepest appreciation to American 1 for their generosity. These life-saving devices will undoubtedly be an asset to Jackson County residents. We are grateful to have such a great community partner as American 1 Credit Union.”

American 1 Credit Union has strong ties with Jackson County and by donating the AEDs to then sheriff’s office it strengthens those bonds, and makes our communities safer. David Puckett,

American 1 President & CEO said “I hope this encourages other institutions to step up and give back to their communities. We serve our members and our communities, and this donation only reinforces our commitment to Jackson County.”

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American 1 CU Raises $780 for Aid in Milan on 5/6/2014

 During the month of April, American 1 Credit Union raised over $780 for non-profit Aid in Milan, in Milan, MI. Each month American 1 Credit Union raises money for a local charity in one of the communities they serve. During the month of April funds were raised for the Aid in Milan, located in Milan, MI. Aid in Milan is a non-profit group established in 1976 to develop and implement community action projects, which meet the needs in the Milan area school district.

April was a very successful fundraising month for American 1. We held two additional fundraisers including a Final Four squares bracket for staff and allowing them to choose their seat at our quarterly staff meeting for a donation to the monthly charity.

American 1’s Home Office, North Street, Hillsdale and Vandercook branch locations offer fresh popped popcorn and bottled water available for a donation for members, every Friday.

A total of $780.00 was raised for the Aid in Milan.

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American 1 donates playoff tickets for food drive on 4/30/2014

American 1 Credit Union is proud to serve its communities and feels strongly about giving back. On Friday, April 25th from 7am to 4pm American 1 Credit Union held a food drive at the Salvation Army on Pearl Street.

For every non-perishable item donated, community members received one entry into a drawing for two tickets to Game 6 of the playoffs featuring the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins, donated by American 1 Credit Union

In all, 1,055 items of food and $248 in cash was donated. The Salvation Army had staff on hand to accept donations and was very grateful for the donations that were made by the people of Jackson.

Although, the Red Wings did not go on to play game 6, the winner did not go away empty handed. The winner, Melvin Pond will receive four Tiger’s tickets 16 rows behind home plate as a consolation prize. Melvin donated $20 and 6 items, giving him 26 entries into the drawing.

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Over $1000 donated in household items to the Jackson Salvation Army on 4/11/2014

 On Tuesday, April 8th, American 1 Credit Union hosted Supermarket Sweep at Polly’s Country Market on Ferguson Road in Jackson. Six teams competed for the coveted 1st place title. Over $1,000 worth of groceries and household items were collected in the five minute dash around the store. All of the items collected were donated to the Salvation Army of Jackson. The American 1 team took second place overall, while Home.fm took first place collecting all 63 items on the list.

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Information about the Heartbleed bug on 4/10/2014

 You may have heard in the news or read articles concerning the Open SSL “Heartbleed” bug that is currently affecting websites all over the internet.

 “A flaw has been discovered in one of the Internet’s key security methods, potentially forcing a wide swath of websites to make changes to protect the security of consumers,” as quoted in the New York Times.

What is this all about?

You can read more about this here: Click Here

Is American 1 impacted?

We have tested the American 1 firewall and we are protected. In addition, our website host has ensured us that our website is safe from this threat. Therefore, our members are not impacted in any way when they utilize our website.

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