American 1 Blog
The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office has received many calls reporting potential scams. The Suspected scammers continue to contact residents in our communities attempting to gather money and personal information. These scams include, but are not limited to:
- Family Scams - Where the scammer says they are a distant family member and need money (cash or gift cards) because they are in trouble. The scammers are normally out of state.
- Court/Jury/Subpeona Scams - Where the scammer tells the recipient they are with a local law enforcement agency, a local and/or federal court and because the recipient failed to comply with a court appearance, a jury duty summons, or a subpoena they will have to pay a fine or be subject to arrest by these entities.
- IRS Scams - Where the scammer tells the recipient they are from the IRS and asks the recipient for personal information which includes date of birth, address, phone number, and social security number in order to process their tax return.
The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office urges residents not to provide any personal information to these scammers and to verify the identity of anyone attempting to solicit money or other information.
Together we can make a difference.
For more information, please visit https://local.nixle.com/alert/7895590/
by Michael Abboud Share
In a week dominated by news of the global Covid-19 pandemic, companies scrambled to find ways of securely supporting employees working from home. But the challenges are extensive, and in sectors with critical infrastructure like government defense, protecting data is just as important as protecting workers.
If you received an email from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization about the Coronavirus outbreak, would you read it? Maybe click on a link? Cyber criminals are counting on it.
This outbreak has become a catalyst for cyber criminals who will use it as a basis for email attacks designed to retrieve personal information, steal money or infect computers with malware.
Here are some examples of emails used by criminals:
Here is another example:
At first glance, the sender’s email address appears to be legitimate, for example, cdc-gov.org or cdcgov.org. The criminals create domains that are very close to the real CDC site — cdc.gov. Even though the link looks like it will take you to a CDC.gov website about the Coronavirus, it will not. More than likely, you will land on a fake Microsoft Outlook login page, created by criminals to steal user names and passwords, which they control.
There is no reason to provide login credentials to visit a public website, such as the CDC.
Here are our recommendations to avoid getting hit by these cyber criminals:
- Don’t be taken in by the sender’s name. Scammers can put any name they like in the “from” field.
- Look out for spelling and grammatical errors. Not all crooks make mistakes, but many do. Take the extra time to review messages for telltale signs that they’re fraudulent.
- Check the URL before you type it in or click a link. If the website you land on doesn’t look right, steer clear. Do your own research and make your own choice about where to look.
- Never enter data that a website shouldn’t be asking for. A site that’s open to the public, such as the CDC or WHO, will never ask for your login credentials.
- If you realize you just revealed your password to impostors, change it as soon as possible. The crooks try to use stolen passwords immediately, so the sooner you change your password, the more likely you are to stop them for doing anything malicious.
- Never use the same password on more than one site. Once crooks have a password, they’ll try it on every website where you might have an account, to see if they can get lucky.
- Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA), if you can. Yes, it’s a slight inconvenience to enter a six-digit code when you want to log on, but it’s a huge barrier for the crooks. With 2FA, a stolen password, by itself, is useless to them.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, scammers are taking advantage with new malware scams. This Business Insider article explains how scammers are using a fake Coronavirus map to direct you to a site to enter your personal information.
Hillsdale, MI – Through a collaborative effort, American 1 Credit Union and several Hillsdale community partners provided a Financial Reality Fair for seniors from Hillsdale County high schools on Tuesday, March 10. This is the second year for this collaborative event.
With support from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation, the Financial Reality Fair simulated financial decisions and barriers students might face throughout their life. Students moved through 10 stations where they made choices on housing, transportation, food, leisure, and even pets. This year brought a new tool to the experience - an app used to create obstacles that impacted students’ budgets, like a flat tire. After visiting the stations, students attempted to create a balanced budget, and some were even able to put extra cash into savings.
“We are thrilled to be part of this event for the second year in a row,” said Janelle Merritt, Vice President of Community Partnerships at American 1. “American 1 believes in creating financial wellness in our communities, and what better way to do that than giving students hands-on practice at real-life budgeting. By learning healthy budgeting and strong savings practices now, these students will be equipped and empowered for adulthood.”
The event consisted of two sessions, just under two hours each, at Jackson College’s LeTarte Center in Hillsdale. The Financial Reality Fair was made possible by the Michigan Credit Union League, Jackson College, American 1 Credit Union, Hillsdale Career Center, Hillsdale County Intermediate School District, Hillsdale County Career Access Planning, and the Hillsdale County School Counselors.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities by creating financial wellness through personal everyday banking.
Guest post by Ed Carter
Everyone has the right to safe, sufficient care as they age. Those with disabilities have more hoops to jump through in planning for their later-life care, but it is even more important to have the resources for the right kind of care. Planning now will give you options later on when your independence is not as guaranteed. Here are a few planning tips to help people with disabilities feel comfortable and— most importantly— living life to the fullest as they age.
Health Insurance Options
If you have the option to start a health savings account (HSA) with your current medical insurance, this can greatly benefit you later on. These accounts are funded through pre-tax dollars, gain interest over time, and are untaxed when used for applicable healthcare needs, including prescriptions. They are attached to high-deductible plans but can be a great fit for a lot of people. And the money never expires and has no maximum contribution limit, meaning you can build up significant savings to put toward future care.
For those who are 65 or older, understanding your Medicare options is critical. Part A covers in-patient hospital care or hospice, while Part B covers doctor visits, medical supplies, and preventive services; Part D can be added to cover prescriptions, and parts can be combined in different ways. Know your coverage, as well as what is not covered. Even if you’re not eligible for Medicare now, having an idea of what to expect down the road can better position you to understand what’s to come. Keep in mind, too, that Medicare changes from year to year.
Save, Save, Save
The importance of saving for the future can’t be emphasized enough. The more you save, the more likely you’ll be able to afford the care you need when you’re older. If you haven’t already, set up a high-interest savings account that you can automatically add to weekly or with every paycheck. By paying yourself first, you won’t miss the funds and it’s a sure bet the money is put away. You also want to set up investment accounts if you don’t already have them, and/or max out your 401(k) and any matching contributions through your employer.
Plan for Assisted Living
If you know the time will come when you’ll need an increased level of care, it’s wise to plan a move into an assisted living community. Unfortunately, Medicare won’t provide coverage for a stay in assisted living or a nursing home, and you won’t be able to use your HSA account to help with payments. That’s why it’s important to start setting aside funds now or your future care. Alternatively, you can purchase long-term care insurance, which can help offset costs associated with your care. LTCI can be tricky to navigate, however, so it might be helpful to meet with a broker to determine the type and length of coverage you should purchase.
Life Insurance Options
It is never too soon to consider a life insurance policy. Life insurance can provide for lost income, medical bills, and even funeral costs. If something were to suddenly happen, the money would be there to provide for your loved ones so that they can grieve in peace. Buying life insurance today is easier than ever; you can calculate how much insurance you need, shop between your options, and buy online when you find the right fit. People with disabilities may have more medical bills and accrue more debt managing their care throughout their lives. On top of that, the nature of their disability might make finding the right amount of coverage (at the right price) more tricky. The sooner you choose a life insurance plan, the less you have to pay and the more financial security you can rely on.
Burial Insurance Options
Another option to help cover end-of-life expenses is burial insurance. This choice is ideal for people under 70 who are in decent health and don’t have any disqualifying issues. Unlike most traditional life insurance plans, burial insurance rarely requires a medical exam. They are far more affordable than full-life plans, so long as you don’t need more than $20,000 to cover your funeral plans. The money from burial insurance can also be used to cover other costs like medical bills and mortgages, saving your family from more unexpected debts. While the costs could be higher depending on your disability, you’ll save on coverage by signing up as early as possible.
This advice only scratches the surface of considerations you’ll want to make for your future. However, by understanding some of what is available to you, and planning ahead as well as you can, you ensure the affordability of care and the ability to continue to make the most out of life well into your senior years.
As a former financial planner, Ed uses his background and experience to help those with disabilities plan for their future.
Ed Carter, Retired Financial Planner
Jackson, MI – American 1 Credit Union is hosting the American 1 Women’s Expo on Saturday, March 14 from 10am to 4pm at the Middle School at Parkside. This free event features over 170 vendors catering to all things women and their families.
“The American 1 Women’s Expo is a long-standing tradition for many women in our community,” said Jorden Griffin, Partner Event Coordinator for American 1 Credit Union. “American 1 has always valued local businesses and entrepreneurs, and the Women’s Expo gives our local hard-working business owners, many of them also women, the opportunity to showcase the incredible selection of products and services available in our own backyard.”
Every Women’s Expo vendor will have a giveaway item at their booth or a drawing available to enter. Guests are encouraged to bring cash or use the no-fee American 1 Mobile ATM that will be on-site as many vendors will be selling items ranging from clothing, makeup, and home decor to foods and desserts.
Wendy Clifton, owner of A Frame Above and 180 Chic Boutique and a repeat Women’s Expo vendor said, “The Women’s Expo is one of my favorite events of the year because it’s fun and I get to meet so many amazing women and business owners from our community!”
Parking is limited at the Women’s Expo, but American 1 offers a free shuttle service to the expo from three convenient locations: Westwood Mall behind Walmart, Polly’s Country Market on Ferguson Road, and the former Kroger on East Michigan Ave in Jackson. Guests who use the shuttle service will receive an extra entry in the door prize drawing for a year-long membership from Anytime Fitness.
For more information about the Women’s Expo, visit american1cu.org or the American 1 Credit Union Facebook page.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities by creating financial wellness through personal everyday banking.
Jackson, MI – On Monday, February 24, the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) announced their 2020 award recipients, including Jackson-based American 1 Credit Union as Outstanding Credit Union of the Year for credit unions of their asset size.
Outstanding Credit Union of the Year award winners are selected based on achievement in community involvement and service, financial strength and performance, and advocacy and public relations. Finalists are reviewed by the MCUL Awards Committee, who propose the winners to the MCUL Board of Directors to be ratified.
In a statement on their website, MCUL President/CEO Dave Adams said, “One of the most enjoyable opportunities for an association is its awards process. This year’s recipients are great examples of individual and organizational excellence and the unique commitment to the credit union mission.”
“We are honored to receive such an esteemed award from the League,” shared Martha Fuerstenau, President/CEO of American 1 Credit Union. “Our current successes are the direct result of our dedication to providing the very best in personal everyday banking to our members for the past 70 years. We are Outstanding Credit Union of the Year because of our loyal members, and our wonderful team of employees who serve them so excellently.”
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,000 members with 16 branch locations across Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities by creating financial wellness through personal everyday banking.
Jackson, MI – The Jackson community will have the opportunity to view the brand new $6.4 million American 1 Credit Union Event Center at Keeley Park during its debut event, the 44th Annual Home & Garden Show, beginning Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 1.
“In the first 50 days the American 1 Credit Union Event Center is open, we already have 30 days booked,” said Kyle Lewis, Deputy Parks Director for the Jackson County Parks. “It’s clear there was a demand for an event center of this size in Jackson, and we’re thankful American 1 stepped up to the plate to provide a space of this magnitude for our community.”
The new 30,000 square foot American 1 Credit Union Event Center is a multi-use facility that offers uniquely designed spaces flexible for any occasion such as wedding receptions, banquets, and corporate events for as many as 800 seated guests. It’s also the perfect space for large conventions, consumer or trade shows, business meetings, and banquets.
“American 1’s gift of $4 million was the largest single gift in our credit union’s history,” said Martha Fuerstenau, President/CEO of American 1 Credit Union. “Our trust in the County of Jackson to construct a refined, professional space for our community to enjoy for generations to come made the partnership a natural decision for our executive team and Board of Directors.”
The space features rooms dedicated to long-standing members of the American 1 Board of Directors – past and present. Tremaine Meeting Room is a nod to long-standing American 1 Board Member Jerry Tremaine. Radabaugh Hall, the larger of the two main event spaces is named after Chester “Chet” Radabaugh, while the smaller main event space, Sisk Hall, received its name from Jerry Sisk. Radabaugh and Sisk were still serving actively on the American 1 Board of Directors at the time of their passing, both in 2015.
“This partnership between the public and private entities of Jackson County Parks and American 1 Credit Union is unprecedented – not only in Jackson, but in most areas. It’s our unified desire to serve and invest in the Jackson community that makes this partnership work,” said Janelle Merritt, VP of Community Partnerships for American 1.
The new American 1 Credit Union Event Center can be booked through the Jackson County Parks Department by calling 517.788.4320 or you can find more information about the facility at American1EventCenter.com.
Overseeing 17 County Parks with more than 1,000 acres of wooded and natural areas, beaches, trails, and more, the Jackson County Parks Department provides environments that facilitate memorable experiences and enhance the quality of life for residents of Jackson County.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities by creating financial wellness through personal everyday banking.
Jackson, MI – American 1 has been putting community first through sponsorships, donations, major gifts, and volunteer efforts since they were founded in 1950.
“We want to create a lasting impact in the communities we serve,” said Martha Fuerstenau, President/CEO of American 1. “American 1 and our Board of Directors are passionate about contributing to the growth and education of our communities through purposeful donations, sponsorships, and partnerships.”
In 2019 American 1 gave to 255 organizations in Jackson, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Calhoun counties totaling more than $1 million. Some of the most notable giving was $600,000 to the Jackson YMCA toward their capital campaign and $250,000 to Spring Arbor University for The Arena Sponsored by American 1 Credit Union. An additional $151,287 in funding was gifted to area nonprofit organizations including Hot Air Jubilee, Talons Out Honor Flight, Bright Walls, and many more.
“American 1 developed the Community Partnerships department to emphasize the importance of consistent and thoughtful community engagement. I am proud to work for an organization and lead a team that genuinely values community,” said Janelle Merritt, VP of Community Partnerships.
Other American 1 community initiatives included:
- Partnered with nine credit unions through the Southern Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions to abolish $2.5 million in medical debt for 3,182 people in surrounding counties
- Joined forces with CP Federal Credit Union to host the 19th Annual Hit ‘em Fore Hospice Golf Benefit and raised a record-breaking $65,000 to benefit the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home
- Provided $10,000 in scholarships to 10 graduating seniors through Skip-a-Pay program
- Donated 15,840 bottles of water to community events
- Contributed 428 hours of Volunteer Time Off by American 1 staff members
Adrian, MI – On Wednesday, February 12, American 1 Credit Union hosted the Third Annual American 1 Supermarket Sweep at the Country Market in Adrian, Michigan.
Supermarket Sweep teams had five minutes to collect as many groceries on the provided list as they could. The Planet Fitness team took home first place collecting 57 out of 66 items, followed by The Daily Telegram in second place. In total, 489 grocery items were collected and donated to The Salvation Army of Lenawee County.
This year’s American 1 Supermarket Sweep event featured ten teams including American 1 Credit Union, Croswell Opera House, Siena Heights University, The Daily Telegram, WLEN Radio, Adrian District Library, The Centre, Jackson College, Planet Fitness, and Lenawee Christian School.
American 1 and Country Market partner to cover the cost of the items collected during the American 1 Supermarket Sweep. In the first two years of the event, a combined total of $1,400 was raised for The Salvation Army of Lenawee County. This year’s Supermarket Sweep brought in the highest donation to date at $1,042.
“We love hosting the American 1 Supermarket Sweep in partnership with Country Market to help give back in a fun, creative way,” said Jorden Griffin, Partner Event Coordinator at American 1. “American 1 values partnerships within the community and nonprofits who are making a tremendous difference in the communities we serve, and this event brings it all together.”
You may think online dating services will bring you love and happiness, but not when they come with scammers looking to steal your money. There are many risks when it comes to online dating services, especially during Valentine's Day. Read the consumer alert from the Michigan Attorney General's office Romance Scams: Stay Safe and Avoid Financial Heartache to learn more.
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce their Downtown Branch is now open on the first floor of One Jackson Square at 100 E. Michigan Ave., Jackson. The new building is the 16th American 1 branch and the eighth location in Jackson County.
“American 1 is proud to be part of the downtown Jackson community,” said Martha Fuerstenau, American 1 Credit Union's President and CEO. “We are now conveniently located in walking distance for those who work and live in downtown Jackson.”
The Downtown Branch is open from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, which are standard hours at most American 1 branches. The branch features Universal Specialists, which will serve members with all of their everyday banking needs, including processing teller transactions, opening loans and accounts, and more. The branch also features a convenient no-fee ATM that is available 24/7, and a space that houses the growing American 1 Contact Center team, which moved from the American 1 Resource Center.
“There is a lot of energy in downtown Jackson and we are thrilled to offer our everyday banking services to this expanding community,” said Abby Smith, Chief Member Experience Officer for American 1. “We know working professionals are often on a time crunch during the workday, and the creation of the Universal Specialist position will produce a more efficient experience for our members.”
Following the opening of their Spring Arbor Branch late last year, American 1 Credit Union is continuing its growth in Michigan communities. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities by creating financial wellness through personal everyday banking.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties.
We started a new decade, which means it’s time for a new census! Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau conducts a survey of how many people live in the United States. The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.
April 1, 2020 you should receive an invitation to participate in the census. It’s important to participate as it affects the amount of funding your community will receive. Keep in mind, the census is filled out by household, not person. You will only receive one 2020 Census packet for your household.
Most of the information requested in the census regards how many live in your household and your basic information. The Census Bureau will never ask for your social security numbers, bank or credit card information, money, donations, or questions about your political party. If you receive any questions like this, do not answer and call your local law enforcement. Scammers will look for any way to take advantage of victims during the Census collection time.
It is important to know the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation. Many scammers will use phishing emails as an attempt to gain access to your personal information. However, Census Bureau representatives do go door-to-door collecting responses. If a representative comes to your door, look for a valid identification badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you have doubts about their identity or someone is asking for personal information, call 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. If they do not have their information on file, report the incident to the police.
To view all 2020 Census Bureau questions and other information, visit https://2020census.gov/en/about-questions.html.
Phishing is a cybercrime in which scammers send a malicious email or message to an individual or an entire organization by impersonating a trusted source. These emails are crafted to be opened without raising suspicion. Phishing emails may contain malware or request access to personal information such as passwords, bank accounts, or social security numbers. Once the information is obtained, the phishers sell the information they stole from you, or some phishers are looking to put viruses on your phone or computer. If a virus is put on your phone, the phishers gain control over the device and can send emails and messages to others connected with you. Below you will find five common phishing scams.
- Vishing – Voice phishing or vishing refers to phishing conducted over the phone. Scammers use an internet telephone service to call and manipulate you to give out your personal information. With a vishing call, the most common scam you’ll hear is that your account has been compromised. The phishers want you to panic and enter your account information immediately to avoid losing money. These automated phone calls will also leave voicemails so you’ll call them back. If you receive an automated call, think twice before you respond. If you want to be certain the call is real, contact the institution at a verified phone number.
- SmSishing – SMS phishing is one of the easiest types of phishing attacks for scammers. The user is targeted through text or social media messages. Scammers send victims a message through text or social media asking for personal information or sending them to a fake landing page to fill out a form. Even though the phone number or page looks real, do not enter any personal information, and contact the institution a verified phone number to confirm any suspicious links.
- Search Engine Phishing – Search engine phishing refers to scammers creating a fake webpage and enticing users to click for special offers. Once the user clicks on the offers or ads, they will be taken to a fake page where they are asked to enter their information to claim the offer.
- Spear Phishing – Spear phishing targets specific users and sends them dangerous emails. The email appears to be trustworthy, but it can lead a victim to a dangerous website that is full of malware. Scammers will try to obtain your information and then sell it for profit.
- Whaling – Whaling involves the same tactics as spear phishing but the target is more specific. Whaling targets powerful individuals like CEOs or CFOs. Because of their status within a company, if they fall victim to a phishing attack they are considered a whale. Most often, whales are targeted at banking, tech companies, and healthcare organizations.
When you receive a message through text, social media, or email, always check the sender’s address or credentials carefully. If you are not sure about the characters or the email address, do not open the email or click any links. Phishing attacks can only succeed if a targeted victim clicks the given link. Trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.
When the calendar turns the page to another year, it also brings having to remember the new date when signing documents. However, this year is a little different. In the News Center Maine article below, experts are now warning people against using “20” as the abbreviation for the year and to always write out 2020 instead.
We have been informed that a local credit union has had reports of their members receiving text messages that appear to be coming from the credit union but are actually fraudulent. Many of the members did not realize the texts were fraudulent until it was too late and their information was compromised.
This tactic is called SMSishing. Fraudsters use a financial institution’s name (since it sounds trustworthy) to obtain information like credit card numbers, online banking information, and more. The fraudsters then request the member to click on a link in the text message or call a phone number – but both route to a fraudster ready to steal your personal information.
If you receive a text message that appears to be an American 1 alert, you can verify the text by calling a confirmed American 1 phone number (888.213.2848). While we have not received any reports that this has happened to American 1, we are always on the look-out for ways to protect our members.
As we get ready to hit more sales and buy gifts for our friends and family during the busy holiday season, scammers are ramping up for their own holiday shenanigans.
Keep a sharp eye out for anything that may seem suspicious like these scams below:
Many consumers will see an increase in their emails alerting them about sales and deals. They may also receive text messages if they have signed up for them. While many of these messages look legitimate, links in them could lead to look-alike websites meant to trick you into entering personal information or allow scammers to download malware on your computer. To protect yourself, look for misspellings throughout the email and hover over links without clicking to see where they actually go. If the site looks suspicious, do not click.
Social Media Gift Exchange
Purchasing one gift and receiving several in return sounds too good to be true, and it is. This Secret Santa style gift exchange on social media is really a pyramid scheme and illegal. One person will invite their friends to put their information on an established list that gets sent to a stranger who can steal your information. Do not participate in this scam. Not only will you receive zero gifts but you might get your information stolen.
Scammers target seniors by posing as a grandchild or family member and claim they have an emergency and need money right away. This often requires the grandparent to send money quickly to help with the emergency. Grandparents should verify the situation by calling the family member in question directly before sending money. Often that phone call can confirm the grandchild is not in danger and will stop the scammer in their tracks.
Temporary Holiday Jobs
Many businesses need extra help during the holiday season and seek seasonal employees, but beware of fraudsters who attempt to collect personal information from applicants. Job seekers trying to avoid this scam should apply in person or go directly to the retailer’s website. Don’t follow an unfamiliar link or a job posted on social media. Also, watch out for postings that require you to pay for equipment or software upfront. These are not legitimate.
This scam is all too popular around the holiday season. An unsuspecting victim is awaiting their new furry friend only to be left without their money and puppy. While this is a year-round issue, puppy scams hurt families seeking to add a furry friend to their home for the holidays. Puppy scams are often difficult to avoid as tempting pictures and good deals pull at the heartstrings and wallet. To prevent this fraud, consumers should do an image search online of the photo given of your pet. If multiple websites appear it’s probably a scam. Know what prices to expect and do your research and only buy from a website you can trust.
Traveling for the holidays can get expensive. Bargains for flight or train tickets are tempting, but watch out because some offers can be scams. Be cautious if you receive an email offer and check to see if it is legitimate by hovering over the link. Never wire money and ask for references.
The holidays are fun but be aware of these scams and stay safe. Trust your instincts and if a deal sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
Holiday travel means long wait times in airports and stays at hotels. During these times you’ll probably need to charge your phone, but did you know it might be unsafe to use unfamiliar USB cables and charging stations? Hackers are using a method called “juice jacking” to steal your information while charging your phone in public places. This New York Times article discusses how fraudsters get your information and how to avoid this from happening to you.
Recent research has disclosed new ransomware that affects Windows users. A revised version of a ransomware dubbed ‘Snatch,’ reboots victim’s Windows computers into Safe Mode and then encrypts their data. Booting into Safe Mode is the hacker’s clever way of bypassing antivirus software that would usually detect the attack. Snatch can affect Windows 7 through Windows 10, both 32 and 64 bit operating systems. Researchers also found forum posts on the dark web from the organizers of Snatch enlisting employees and cybercriminals to disclose company passwords. This information is then used to access the company network to help spread the ransomware. To avoid this ransomware, keep your Windows computers up to date with any updates or security patches, and secure your systems with multifactor authentication in case passwords become compromised.
The holidays may be here but they can come with a price. Fraudsters are at an all-time high this time of the year and bring all kinds of holiday scams. American 1 is determined to help members stay safe from all holiday scams. These scams can affect many and be hard to recognize. The Credit Union Times article below discusses a variety of holiday scams and how to avoid them.
The holidays are right around the corner which means there are meals to prepare for, presents to buy, and traditions to enjoy. But all that holiday cheer melts away when a Black Friday deal turns into a malicious phishing scam, stealing your identity, or downloading malware on your computer or mobile device. Be safe this holiday season when shopping for amazing deals and avoid the holiday email scams. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are popular times for hackers to deploy phishing scams. Beware of emails that ask for any of your personal information, login credentials, or credit card information. Avoid clicking on any links and just go to the website from your browser if possible. Check to make sure an email address is from a trustworthy source. Hackers will use email addresses that look like popular senders, but the address will be slightly different. Also, make sure all your devices are updated so they have the latest security patches. Take these extra precautions and have a safe and happy holiday season!
At a press conference this morning, the Southern Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions announced a $25,500 gift to RIP Medical Debt, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The gift, a collaborative effort by nine credit unions, will abolish $2.5 million in medical debt for 3,182 people in Jackson, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Calhoun and Washtenaw Counties in Michigan.
RIP Medical Debt uses donations to purchase medical collection accounts at a greatly reduced cost and pays off the debt for the neediest people. More than 3,000 local recipients of the credit unions’ joint act of kindness will be notified soon by a letter from RIP Medical Debt.
Speaking at the press conference, American 1 Credit Union CEO Martha Fuerstenau shared, “Each of our credit unions recognizes that medical debt doesn’t happen by choice. We don’t view medical collections as an indicator of financial irresponsibility. However, because loan rates are based on credit scores, the impact of a medical collection reaches into the wallet of our neighbors month after month. It’s a vicious financial cycle that also burdens the emotional health of those underneath its weight. Through collaborative giving, we are creating a new virtuous cycle for more than 3,000 individuals and families.”
The individuals selected for debt abolishment are truly in need, according to Jerry Ashton, founder of RIP Medical Debt. “We find people who earn less than two times the federal poverty level or are in hardship by paying 5% of their annual income out of pocket for medical expenses, or who face insolvency due to their medical debt being greater than their assets.” Ashton continued, “I cannot tell you how thrilled RIP Medical Debt is to partner with this amazing collection of Southern Michigan credit unions that do not simply talk about community involvement but live it daily. In this case, it consists of a wonderful donation on their part which has enabled our non-profit to go out into the debt market to locate debt in their communities, buy it for pennies on the dollar, and then forgive that debt along with removing any credit blemish it may have created.”
The credit unions involved in this project provide financial counseling in various forms for anyone in their communities. Fuerstenau expressed the hope that the gift of debt abolishment will serve as a step toward restored financial wellness for the recipients.
During the gift presentation, CEO of CP Federal Credit Union Chrissy Siders announced that the Michigan Credit Union Foundation added to the gift given by the nine local credit unions, making the impact even larger.
The Southern Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions is comprised of Aeroquip Credit Union (Jackson), American 1 Credit Union (Jackson), Blue Ox Credit Union (Battle Creek), Community Choice Credit Union (Farmington Hills), CP Federal Credit Union (Jackson), Lenco Credit Union (Adrian), South Central Credit Union (Jackson), TLC Community Credit Union (Adrian), and Washtenaw Federal Credit Union (Ypsilanti).
The Southern Michigan Chapter of Credit Unions is led by President Terri Paperisky, CEO of South Central Credit Union.
For more information visit https://ripmedicaldebt.org
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce their Spring Arbor Branch is now open at 6580 Spring Arbor Rd., Jackson, Michigan. The new building is the 15th American 1 branch and the seventh location in Jackson County.
“We are deeply invested in the Spring Arbor community,” said Martha Fuerstenau, American 1 Credit Union's CEO and President. “Earlier this year we made $250,000 gift to renovate the McDonald Athletic Center at Spring Arbor University, demonstrating our commitment to Spring Arbor. We are honored to be part of this great community.”
The Spring Arbor Branch lobby is open from 9 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am to 4 pm on Saturday, which are standard hours at most American 1 branches. The drive-thru will be open 8 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday, 7 am to 7 pm on Fridays, and 8 am to 4 pm on Saturday. The branch features teller stations, member service areas, drive-thru lanes, and two convenient no-fee ATMs.
Spring Arbor Branch Manager Keleigh Thibodeau said, “I can’t wait to work with the Spring Arbor community. I look forward to seeing current American 1 members as well as welcoming new members to the credit union. My team is here to serve all members and we are eager to assist them with their everyday banking needs.”
Following the opening of the Michigan Center branch early this year, American 1 Credit Union is continuing its growth in Michigan communities. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities with everyday banking services in a local, personal setting.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties.
Jackson, MI – The American 1 Credit Union team has utilized AARP’s BankSafe Initiative to train employees on the signs of fraud to help keep their members safe.
The American Association of Retired Persons’ BankSafe Initiative helps financial institutions train their employees on the importance of fraud prevention and warning signs. The initiative focuses on preventing financial exploitation, empowering family caregivers, helping those with dementia, and making banking tools and environments easier to access. When American 1 discovered this tool they knew this was something in which the whole team should be trained.
The Risk and Compliance team at American 1 was the first to take part in the AARP BankSafe Initiative. The training has prompted the Risk and Compliance team to send weekly articles informing American 1 staff on common scams and warning signs, and the front-line staff is in the process of being trained on the BankSafe Initiative.
“We want to be the leader in fraud prevention in the communities we serve,” said Angela Hadley, Risk and Compliance Manager for American 1. “This is not a marketing strategy for American 1, but the opportunity to do the right thing by educating our community on what to look for when it comes to fraud,” she continued.
Recently, one of the trained American 1 employees protected a 68-year-old member from being scammed out of several thousand dollars. A fraudster posed as a SWAT police officer, approached the victim at his home, and told him he owed $5,800 for an unpaid ticket or else he would go to jail. The fraudster took the victim in his pickup truck to American 1’s Home Branch to get the funds.
While the fraudster waited outside in his pickup truck, American 1 employees became suspicious of the transaction. A manager talked with the victim and discovered he had been brought to the credit union by someone impersonating a police officer. The manager called the police, which caused the fraudster to speed off in the pickup truck. He was detained after a short pursuit.
Unfortunately, this and many other types of fraud happen often. However, due to BankSafe training, the American 1 Credit Union team in place knew the signs of fraud and acted quickly.
For more information about AARP’s BankSafe Initiative visit aarp.org
American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Lenawee, and Wayne counties. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities with everyday banking services in a local, personal setting.
My True Savings Goal: Making our dreams come true
The announcement about the True Savings account was so exciting to my husband and me. We were about to embark on the journey toward homeownership and the timing couldn’t be better with this new account being created. First, we decided to save some money to invest before purchasing a house.
We reached this goal faster than we had even imagined. The emails recognizing our progress were so motivating and it was exciting to see our balance grow! This made it easy to intentionally focus on investing for our future.
When we originally set our goals they seemed far-reaching. We weren’t anticipating the quick turnaround we experienced. It went so well, we were able to start our second goal; buying a home.
Our home buying experience was completely different than we expected. We were prepared to settle for a home that was not exactly what we dreamed of, but what we “could do.” Imagine our surprise when we found we were able to purchase not just a house, but rather our dream house! We are completely convinced our True Savings accounts were instrumental in making our dreams come true.
Our story isn’t necessarily usual. However, we believe our True Savings accounts paved the way to our highly unusual experience. While our results may appear to be somewhat a-typical we are excited to be a picture of how well True Savings can work. We are on to another True Savings goal now. After all, there is always something to save for.
Use an American 1 True Savings account for your emergency fund
You decide a specific goal amount for your emergency fund. We recommend you also choose a timeframe to achieve this goal. Not sure where to start? Choose an amount like $1,000, $5,000 or $10,000 and a timeframe such as 6, 12 or 24 months. Remember, your emergency fund should eventually be 3-6 months of your basic expenses.
Pay yourself first
Set up a direct deposit of the amount you want to save to go automatically into your emergency fund savings account.
Save for retirement now
No matter your age, the sooner you start, the better! Compounding interest really makes a big difference! If your employer matches funds, make sure you contribute the maximum amount for the match.
Have designated savings accounts
You know you will have car repairs, home improvement projects, gifts to buy and will want to take a vacation. These expenses each need regular, allocated funds – even $10/week will help! At American 1, you can use what we call “Members Choice” accounts which allows you to name each account whatever you’d like to name it! These accounts have no minimum deposit requirement and no fees.
Don’t touch it!
- Make a pact with yourself not to access your savings unless it’s a true emergency.
- Don’t have a debit card connected to your savings account.
- Take a certain period of time (perhaps 24-48 hours) before accessing your savings account to avoid impulse buys.
There are many requests and questions credit unions won’t ask their members when it comes to personal information. Recently, there have been new scams that involve criminals pretending to be a credit union. They will ask you to carry out actions that will result in your account being hacked. Below are examples of what fraudsters posing as a credit union might do or ask you:
- Send an email with a link asking you to enter your online banking details. When someone enters their information through that link it will go directly to scammers. This is a well-known scam and affects many people. Credit unions will not email you with a link to go elsewhere to enter your information.
- Ask you to text personal banking information to their number. This is one of the most popular scams because of the high success rate for criminals. Credit unions will never ask you to text banking information to them.
- Send someone to your home. Scammers will say they work for your credit union and are sending someone to collect cash, cards, or information. Credit unions will never send an employee to your house.
- Try to provide banking services through mobile apps other than the credit union’s official app. To download the credit union’s mobile app, make sure to follow the listed link on the official website. Using links you find on other pages may only serve to highjack your information.
- Call or email to ask for your full PIN or online banking passwords. A credit union will not call requesting members to verify their PIN or card numbers.
- Ask you to authorize a transfer of funds to a new account or hand over cash. Criminals will inform a member that their money is being threatened by a corrupt employee or cyber-criminal and to move their funds immediately. This is a false statement used to get a member to move their funds to a scammer’s account.
- Ask you to carry out a “test transaction” online. Fraudsters will email members asking them to perform a test transaction online, perhaps because of a technical problem on the account. This will result in them stealing your money.
- Call to advise you to buy diamonds, land, or other commodities. Reputable credit unions do not call suggesting you purchase such items.
Credit unions will never do any of these examples above. If you experience any of these requests, do not comply and contact your local law enforcement or credit union.
Google has released a zero-day patch for two vulnerabilities found in the Chrome browser. Details about the attacks have not been revealed yet, but Google immediately deployed a patch and is urging all users to update ASAP. You can check to see if you have the update by going to “Help” in Chrome, then “About Google Chrome”. From that page, you will be able to tell if you have the latest version, 78.0.3904.87. This version applies to Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
The End of Life for Windows 7 is coming up in January 2020. If you are still running this version of Windows on your laptop or desktop, consider upgrading to Windows 10. After the End-of-Life is up, Microsoft will no longer deploy the monthly security patches for the system, opening your devices to potential vulnerabilities.
This month, Microsoft rolled out patches for several, critical vulnerabilities. These include patches for Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, and VBscript. Let your Microsoft Windows devices update to mitigate these vulnerabilities.
Keep an eye out for an update to your Android phone. A recently discovered zero-day vulnerabilities was found this month. If this vulnerability is exploited, hackers can successfully use privilege escalation to gain control of your device and gather data. Phones affected include Pixels, Huawei P20, Xiaomis, Oppo A3, Moto Z3, Oero LGs, and Samsung S7, S8 and S9.
My True Savings Goal: Emergency Savings & Entertainment Savings
I was already on a path to try to save money. It seemed like whenever fun plans came up or an unexpected car repair happened, I didn't have any money saved for it.
I asked myself, “How could I save money for these unexpected things?”
I made a list of the "extras" I was spending money on - like soda, snacks, eating out, etc. I spent well over $20 a week. I made a plan to cut out some of those "extras" and start saving that money for something better.
I was on a mission!
Then I heard about the new True Savings account offered at American 1. This account seemed different from the traditional savings accounts I had set up to save money that never worked. With my True Savings account, I could decide what I was saving for, how much I wanted to save, and fit it into my budget!
I decided to open two True Savings Accounts - one for entertainment and one for emergencies. I committed to depositing $10 each week from my paycheck into both accounts. Having the money deposited out of my paycheck made it so I didn’t have the chance to spend it. As weeks passed I could see that I was actually saving! I had money saved in my Entertainment True Savings to celebrate my birthday! To top it off my Emergency True Savings is there for anything unexpected that may come up. This plan is working for me and I don’t even miss the money that I used to spend before.
I also get weekly emails that help remind me what I am saving for, what my dollar amount goal is, and how much I've saved toward my goal so far. There are even helpful tips in the email on other ways I can save more money! I am on my way to saving for both of my goals – fun things and emergencies!
Now that's truly True Savings!
It’s International Credit Union Day! Today is a day where we celebrate credit unions and the members who make it all possible and further educate our members and the community about who we are and what we have to offer.
Credit Union Facts
Did you know credit unions are not-for-profit? All profits are used to pursue our mission and to keep our organization running. The mission of American 1 Credit Union is to provide the best personal financial services to members of our credit union at the lowest cost and highest return consistent with our resources.
Credit unions are also governed by a board of directors. This means no decisions are made without the approval of the board and every decision is based on the interest of members. International Credit Union Day has been celebrated on the third Thursday of October since 1948.
American 1 Credit Union History
American 1 began as the Jackson Co-op Federal Credit Union in 1950 and had just 47 members. By 1964 the Jackson Co-op Federal Credit Union had over 5,000 members and sold co-op appliances for ten years. Fast forward to today where American 1 has grown to over 58,000 members, 14 branches and more than 50 no-fee ATMs! We strive to provide the best services for our members because none of this would be possible without their loyalty to American 1.
Come celebrate International Credit Union Day with us today at any branch for free giveaways and friendly service where you’ll see we are the Best Way to Bank!
To learn more about American 1’s history click here.
On October 17, 2019, American 1 Credit Union will join with 56,000 credit unions around the world in celebration of International Credit Union (ICU) Day®. There will be giveaways for all members at all American 1 branches for the day.
There are 200+ million credit union members around the world—more than 100 million in the U.S. alone—and American 1 joins them in celebration of the not-for-profit cooperative spirit that all credit unions share.
This cooperative spirit has led to life-changing opportunities for people all over the world who’ve wanted to start a small business, own a home or continue their education but were denied access to other financial institutions. In many parts of the world, people’s first taste of democracy is through their credit union, where “one member, one vote” is the governing structure.
At its most basic level, a credit union is people pooling their money to provide each other with affordable loans—it is literally people helping people. This is why American 1 celebrates ICU Day. Because credit unions empower people, wherever they are in the world or life, to take control of their financial future.
American 1 members are welcome to stop by any branch and celebrate a movement that concerns itself with the financial success of all people.
Copyright 2019 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.
In the wake of Hurricane Dorian that swept through the Bahamas and future hurricanes to come you may feel inclined to donate to those in need. When you decide to support a cause you care about you want your donation to count. Researching and planning your donations can help ensure your money will go to a place where it will make a difference.
Do some research online - When you consider giving to a charity search its name plus one of the following keywords - complaint, review, rating, or scam. This will help weed out the websites that have the potential to scam someone. If negative results come up from the searches this will show you they are not the best charity to donate to. Use caution and avoid them.
Be careful how you pay - If a charity wants donations in cash, gift cards, or by wiring money - don’t do it. This is how scammers will ask you to pay. It is safer to pay with a credit card or check. Keep records of your donations so you can view them if needed. Review your monthly statements and make sure you are only charged the amount you chose to donate. Also, make sure there are no recurring donations unless you signed up for them. This can be a way for scammers to get more of your money. Before clicking a link to donate online, be sure it’s not a scam.
Keep scammers’ tricks in mind - Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. Some scammers try to trick you into paying them by thanking you for a donation that you have never made which can make you think you need to pay. Scammers can also change caller ID to make a call look like it’s from a local area code and use names that sound like the names of real charities. This is another reason it pays to do some before giving. Fake organizations may claim that your donation is tax-deductible when it is not.
If you see any of these red flags or if you’re unsure how a charity will use your donation consider giving elsewhere. There are many worthy organizations and charities that will use your donation wisely.
September’s patch updates included several for Adobe. Four versions were labeled as important updates: Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop had a critical priority 2 update and Adobe Experience Manager had a critical priority 1 update. If you run any version of Adobe on your device, make sure it has the latest version running to mitigate vulnerabilities.
WhatsApp “Delete for Everyone”
It was recently discovered that the “Delete for Everyone” WhatsApp feature does not actually delete for everyone. If you are using WhatsApp and accidentally send a text/picture/video to the wrong user, the “Delete for Everyone” will remove that media from Android users, but not all Apple users. By default, Apple does not allow media to be deleted from the Camera Roll without the user’s consent meaning WhatsApp is unable to remove message content. If you use WhatsApp, keep this in mind when you need to use the “Delete for Everyone” feature.
Public Google Calendars
Is your Google Calendar public? Making your Google Calendar public is not a security flaw, but it is a security concern. By making calendars public, many people have unintentionally made sensitive or private information available online. Any information or media within an event will be available with a quick Google search. Additionally, if your calendar is public, you cannot tell by just looking at the calendar. To check the status of your calendar, you have to go into advanced settings. If you are unsure if you have ever made your Google calendar public, you will want to check these settings.
Chrome Security Alert
Google released a new Chrome update that patches one critical and three high-risk vulnerabilities. These patches fix a flaw that allows remote hackers to take control of your device. To protect yourself from this attack, take a minute to check that your Chrome is updated to version 77.0.3865.90.
Jackson, MI – This year marks a trailblazing one for American 1 Credit Union and CP Federal Credit Union. For the first time, the two credit unions joined forces in support of the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home for the 19th Annual Hit ‘Em Fore Hospice Golf Outing. This year’s event shattered previous fundraising records by raising more than $65,000 during the outing on Monday, September 9 at the Grande Golf Club. The outing, which began in 2000, has raised more than $312,000 for the Hospice Home over its 19 year history.
The record-breaking proceeds from this year’s event directly benefit local families in need of the unique end-of-life care provided by the Hospice Home. Numerous sponsors, supporters, and volunteers, along with the combined energy of the two credit unions are what contributed to the success of this year’s outing. A full list of 2019 event sponsors can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2kk3526
President/CEO of CP Federal Credit Union and Chair for the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Board Chrissy Siders stated, “I am overwhelmed by the passion and commitment exuded by the CP Federal Credit Union and American 1 Credit Union team. Our collaboration alongside the Henry Ford Allegiance Health team generated not only a substantial financial gift but also an impactful contribution for the families in our community who desire for their loved one to receive their end of life care at the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home. I am honored to be part of this team and the Jackson Community and grateful for the sponsors for their support of this gem in our community.”
Martha Fuerstenau, President/CEO of American 1 Credit Union and Vice Chair for the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Board of Trustees said, “The partnership between our two credit unions boldly states that we are committed to the communities we serve and the sustainment of important organizations such as the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home. To the community, volunteers, sponsors and staff who made this event possible, thank you. Your tireless work for the betterment of our community makes me proud every day. ”
For more information or to stay up-to-date on next year’s event, follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hitemforehospice
Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home is the only residence for end-of-life care in Jackson County. The Hospice Home offers private patient rooms with sleeping space for loved ones, a water therapy spa room with walk-in tub, and features that encourage family gatherings, such as outdoor patios and walking paths, a gazebo and garden, children’s playground, and two lounge areas with kitchens.
My True Savings Goal: A kayak boat launch
I was so excited when I heard about American 1 helping me find ways to save. I have always been okay with budgeting, but I have never taken the time to budget for something that isn’t a necessity. So I am taking this time to open a True Savings for something I wouldn’t normally budget for – a kayak boat launch.
Although my goal is a little high, I have made a commitment to myself to work towards this achievement. I have money automatically transferred into the account from my paycheck, so I never even see it. I love the emails that I get weekly telling me how I am doing and my percent to goal It is rewarding to see it go up every week and it’s especially exciting when my percent to goal is higher than the previous week. Then as a bonus, you get these great tips on things you can do to save money. I just love my True Savings account and can’t wait until the day I am able to make that big withdrawal and purchase my kayak boat launch.
My True Savings Goal: Down payment for my first home
My True Savings goal is based on my commitment to building a down payment for my first home purchase; which is something I have been working towards, but have not yet been able to achieve. I decided to take advantage of the True Savings since the updates I receive in email hold me accountable and show my progress through a percentage.
There have been weeks that I did not add funds to my True Savings and when I do not see the percentage increase. During those weeks, I use the tips given in the weekly emails to figure out things I could have done differently. I appreciate that this share has some restrictions, such as no debit card access. With that said, I am still able to transfer in online banking if I really need to access the funds. Since opening my True Savings I feel a sense of accomplishment that I have not felt in the past, as this is the largest amount I have been able to accumulate. I am thrilled to see that I am steadily working towards the goal I set for myself and not just wishing for it to happen.
At a ceremony on July 11, American 1 Credit Union and the Jackson YMCA announced a new partnership agreement, which includes a $600,000 gift from American 1 to the Jackson YMCA’s Capital Campaign.
The gift, approved by the American 1 Board of Directors, is designated for the naming of the lobby of the new Jackson YMCA building. The YMCA’s Capital Campaign is a $25 million project to replace the current aging facility with a larger modern structure. The new facility will provide access for those with limited mobility, increase space for further development and growth, and will provide room for licensed child care among other needs.
Speaking at the ceremony, American 1 CEO Martha Fuerstenau shared, “We believe that American 1 and the Jackson YMCA are well-aligned in our common purpose to welcome and serve all citizens as we seek to create a healthier community – be it physical health, social responsibility, or financial wellness. Our gift is designated for the lobby of the new Y, where children and adults of every race, faith, age, occupation, state of physical health and well-being will pass through as they engage in the all of the opportunities of the new facility. They will walk into a welcoming place to learn, play, and gather for generations to come. American 1 is thrilled to do our part to make this important transformation a reality.”
“We are so appreciative of American 1’s investment in a new YMCA facility because it is an investment in the future of our community,” said Jackson YMCA CEO Shawna Tello. “American 1’s commitment to serving all is one we share; it is the foundation of our mission, and their gift brings us closer to building a better Y for all.” Nearly 1,000 people visit the Jackson Y each day to improve their health, socialize, attend a youth camp, take a class, and learn new skills.
The announcement of the major gift from American 1 brings the Y to the $14 million mark of the campaign, which began in 2017. The Jackson YMCA Capital Campaign is led by Consumers Energy Vice President, Scott McIntosh.
American 1 Board Chairman Philip E. Hoffman Jr. remarked, “We are impressed with the collaborative nature of this large project. The Y works with many community groups and non-profit organizations to provide the life-changing experiences it offers today. The plan for a new Y will include space for additional collaboration with more partners not available elsewhere. Our investment in this campaign represents American 1’s commitment to all segments of our community. The goal of the Jackson YMCA Capital Campaign is bold, and we believe when it is complete the new Y will be a force for positive transformation in Jackson.”
This month, a total of 77 vulnerabilities were patched, 14 of which were critical security patches and 62 were labeled important. This month, these patches are for Internet Explorer, Edge, Office, Azure DevOps, Open Source Software, .NET Framework, Azure, SQL Server, ASP.NET, Visual Studio, and Exchange Server. Two vulnerabilities have been reported to be exploited in the wild. One of these vulnerabilities is used on Windows 10 operating systems and one for Windows 7 and Server 2008. To protect yourself against these attacks, let your Windows devices update as soon as possible.
TIP: Checking for Available Updates
Unsure if you have the latest Windows update? If you run a Windows 10 device, search for “Check for Updates” in the search bar on your desktop and run that program. Your computer will determine what updates you need and then ask if you want to install them. For Windows 7, you can search for “Windows update” and get the same results.
TIP: Android Apps Stealing Data
If you think your information is safe on Android apps, even when you deny permission to certain data, think again. Recent research has shown that app developers are discovering sneaky ways to gather location and phone identifiers. The Shutterfly app has been gathering location data by using the metadata in photos, bypassing the geolocation permissions set by users. Shutterfly is just one of 1,325 Android apps found to be gathering information. To protect your information, uninstall any apps you do not need and do some research on the apps you do need to make sure those apps do not have a reputation for stealing data.
Checkers and Rally’s announced a breach in late May. Reportedly, malware on some of the company's card reader systems had compromised an unknown number of customers' payment card information, including card numbers, verification codes, expiration dates, and cardholder names. You can learn more from the Tampa Bay Times at https://www.tampabay.com/business/checkers-amp-rallys-locations-in-20-states-had-a-data-breach-20190529/.
About 15 percent of the company’s restaurants — 102 locations across 20 states — were affected. Some were breached as early as 2016
American 1 is actively monitoring the situation and how it may have impacted our members. All members affected by the breach are being contacted. However, if you are concerned that your card may have been breached, you may call any branch to receive a free replacement card.
Do you utilize security updates on your devices? The American 1 IT Department would like to share the importance of updating your devices to help protect you from a cyber-attack.
Don’t snooze those updates! Every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft releases security patches and updates to its supported operating systems and other Microsoft products. This month, a total of 88 vulnerabilities were patched, 22 of which were "critical" security patches and 66 were labeled "important." If you run a Windows operating system that is Windows 7 or newer, Internet Explorer, Edge, Skype, Exchange, Lync, ChakraCore or Office products, consider allowing your devices to update. With a cyber-attack happening every 39 seconds and 75 records being stolen every one second, it is important to safeguard our greatest line of defense, which is staying up to date with all security patches.
Emergency Firefox Patch
On June 18, 2019, Firefox reported a Zero-Day vulnerability found in their web browser. This vulnerability allows hackers to remotely execute arbitrary code to affected versions of Firefox. If you use Firefox on a Windows, MacOS or Linux desktop, it is vital that you update to the newest version, Firefox 67.0.3 or Firefox ESR 60.7.1, to protect your information from this attack.
Outlook for Android
On June 22, 2019, Microsoft released an update for its Outlook for Android app. This update patches a recently discovered vulnerability that would allow a hacker to execute malicious code on the client device by sending a special email. Protect your data from this attack by making sure the Outlook app on your Android device has updated to the 3.0.88 version or newer.
When you open a True Savings account, you’re not only saving for your future but also joining a movement of True Savers! With the new True Savings account from American 1, you will receive general updates on how the entire community of True Savers is doing.
In mid-April 2019, American 1 did a soft launch of the new True Savings account with over 100 American 1 staff members. To date, the team has saved more than $60,000! Staff members are saving for various reasons including dream vacations, rainy day funds, new home down payments, and more. After just 10 weeks, they have already saved more than 20% to the overall goal of $314,000.
Being part of a community of True Savers, piled on with fun weekly challenge emails and no opening or maintenance fees has made the new True Savings account the best way to save. The American 1 team is now ready to share the new True Savings account with our members and the community.
Join the True Savings community! Start by setting a goal for yourself. What are you saving for? American 1 will send you weekly emails that contain a fun savings challenge, remind you of your goal and what you’re saving for, and tell you how much you’ve saved to date. You’ll also become part of the community of True Savers and will get updates on how much we are all saving together as a community.
Visit any American 1 branch for more information and open your True Savings account today!
For the first time, American 1 Credit Union and CP Federal Credit Union have joined forces to support a very important asset in the Jackson community, the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home.
The Annual Hit ‘em Fore Hospice Golf Benefit has raised more than $247,000 in its first 18 years. The two community-oriented financial institutions, both headquartered in Jackson, MI and both under new leadership, have set a goal of raising more than $50,000 for the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home in 2019.
President/CEO of American 1 Credit Union and Vice Chair for the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Board of Trustees Martha Fuerstenau said, “We’re ecstatic to partner with CP Federal Credit Union to support the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home. American 1 and CP Federal coming together makes a bold statement about our commitment to the betterment of Jackson and the importance of the role of the Hospice Home in our community.”
President/CEO of CP Federal Credit Union and Chair for the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Board Chrissy Siders stated, “Both organizations have a long-standing history with the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home, both personally and professionally. Our invitation to partner in leading the efforts on the Hit ‘em Fore Hospice Golf Benefit is founded in our commitment to write a new history, together, to impact the families of Jackson, starting with raising funds and visibility for the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home, an absolute gem in our community.”
This year’s outing is on Monday, September 9, at the Grande Golf Club in Jackson, MI. Registration is open and is limited to the first 36 teams who sign up. Sponsorships are also available on a first come, first serve basis. For more information, please visit www.american1cu.org/golfbenefit.
Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home is the only residence for end-of-life care in Jackson County. Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home offers private patient rooms with sleeping space for loved ones, a water therapy spa room with walk-in tub, and features that encourage family gatherings, such as outdoor patios and walking paths, a gazebo and garden, children’s playground, and two lounge areas with kitchens.
Everyone is a potential victim of fraud, regardless of how much you know. Recently one of American 1’s Vice Presidents nearly became a victim of a scheme that could have resulted in the loss of over $10,000.
The recent close brush with the scam began while looking for a pre-owned fishing boat. This family had saved money to buy a boat and were shopping popular pre-owned websites. They found one that was exactly what they were looking for and at a great price.
After a couple interactions where the family requested more information and additional photos, they requested to schedule a time to see the boat. This is where the story began to change. It was at this time that the seller said they were moving the sales transaction to eBay Motors, to “make things easier.”
The seller said that eBay Motors would send an invoice, ship the boat, and give them five days to inspect the boat and approve the purchase. The next day, the family received what looked like an authentic invoice from eBay Motors along with an email from the seller to confirm that they received the invoice. The eBay Motors invoice explained that the family would transfer funds to eBay Motors and the funds would be “held in escrow” while they inspected the boat. Then once the family approved the sale, eBay Motors would send the funds to the buyer.
The family then discovered that the boat was not listed on eBay Motors, but it was still listed on Craigslist. All of of these red flags led them to do a Google search looking for information about scams involving eBay Motors. That search then led the family to eBay Motors Security Center where there was an alert about scams where fraudsters list items on sites like Craigslist and then move them to what appears to be eBay Motors.
When making large purchases online, use extra caution. It only took a few minutes to research the eBay Motors Security Center, which has alerts about common scams. Deciding to slow down, even if it meant losing out on a good deal, saved this family thousands of dollars. Look for red flags. Be suspicious. If you haven’t physically inspected the item you are planning to purchase or you can’t actually meet the person who is asking for money – stop. Seek advice. You can always visit one of the American 1 branches for help and advice before you transfer your hard earned money to someone you don’t really know or have never met in person.
Jackson, MI - American 1 Credit Union and Spring Arbor University unveiled a new partnership for the naming of their primary sports venue inside the newly christened McDonald Athletic Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2019. “The Arena Sponsored by American 1 Credit Union” will be the heart of the McDonald Athletic Center.
A $250,000 gift to Spring Arbor University by American 1 Credit Union was approved by the American 1 Board of Directors for the renovation of the McDonald Athletic Center and naming of The Arena. The $1.9 million renovation project focused on increased safety and functionality of the 42-year old facility, which is a center of activity on the Spring Arbor University campus.
Speaking at the ceremony, American 1 CEO Martha Fuerstenau remarked, “We are excited to partner with the University on this project because we think it’s a good idea to support what Spring Arbor University supports; that is, a community of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a passion for ethical service. SAU graduates are perfect hires for American 1 Credit Union because we need big thinkers and lifelong learners. We need people who are ethically minded and have a servant’s heart. For decades, American 1 has enjoyed success recruiting quality team members who are Spring Arbor University graduates and students.”
The announcement of the contribution to the University coincided with the beginning of site preparation for a new American 1 branch on M-60 in Spring Arbor Township.
“Spring Arbor the University and Spring Arbor the Township are uniquely intertwined, unlike other university towns,” commented Fuerstenau. Chairman of the American 1 Board Philip E. Hoffman Jr. expounded, “Our investment in Spring Arbor University demonstrates our commitment to the community as we simultaneously make another significant investment in Spring Arbor just down the road, building a new American 1 branch location.”
The renovation of The Arena Sponsored by American 1 Credit Union included converting old-style bleacher seating to arena seating, modernization of the sound system, and updated video capability. The renovations will make the facility more usable for athletic and non-athletic functions, and more comfortable and safer for guests of all ages. University officials estimate that more than 25,000 guests visit the facility each year.
Jackson, MI - American 1 Credit Union has awarded 10 graduating high school seniors from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service. American 1 offered the awards through their annual Community Involvement Scholarship Program.
Each student applicant submitted an essay on the benefits of altruism and how their involvement has impacted the community. 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. A portion of the $25 fees are then used to fund the scholarship program.
The 2019 American 1 Community Involvement Scholarship winners are:
- Jamie Gorman – Chelsea, Chelsea High School
- Natalie Anderson – Jackson, Homeschooled
- Aubree Dickens – Brooklyn, Columbia Central High School
- Emily Goodin – Petersburg, Summerfield High School
- Anna Sun – Canton, Detroit Country Day School
- Madelyn Atwood – Jackson, Northwest High School
- Ajay Bharathan – Canton, Salem High School
- Chance Cauthon – Clarklake, Hanover-Horton High School
- Alexander Dunbar – Jonesville, Jonesville High School
- Hailey Peguro – Battle Creek, Harper Creek High School
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 59,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee and Wayne counties.
Personal technology devices are a part of everyday life. When was the last time you went somewhere without seeing someone talking, texting or scrolling through their phone or tablet? According to a post by CTIA’s Growing Wireless website, over 50% of children ages 8-12 have regular access to a tablet or smartphone, rising to 91% between ages 13-17.
Criminals and fraudsters are increasingly turning to mobile devices and may be using apps to anonymously communicate with and exploit unsuspecting children and teens. One common trend used by fraudsters on mobile apps is claiming to have access to pictures or content that the minor does not want their parent to see and requesting a parent’s debit/credit card numbers as ransom. It is important to be aware of apps that may pose a risk to your child and your wallet. Here are some apps to be on the lookout for:
SNAPCHAT: Allows users to see your exact location. Content disappears within 24 hours.
KIK: Kik allows anyone to contact and directly message someone on the app without using traditional text messaging. It also allows users to remain anonymous.
CALCULATOR%: A disguised app that looks like a calculator but is secretly a place to hide photos, videos, files and browser history.
ASKfm: Known for cyberbullying, this app encourages users to allow anonymous people to ask them private questions.
LIVEME: A live-streaming video app that tells others the user’s exact location. Also has a “coin” currency as a way to “pay” minors for photos.
BUMBLE: A dating app similar to Tinder, but requires women to make the first contact. Kids can use the app to create fake accounts by falsifying their age.
HOT OR NOT: A popular “hook-up” app that encourages users to rate your profile.
HOLLA: A self-proclaimed “addicting” video chat app prone to sharing explicit content.
On Saturday, March 9, American 1 Credit Union hosted our annual Jackson Women’s Expo. Our 3,000+ attendees were able to browse products and learn about businesses and services from over 170 Michigan vendors.
Women lined up outside the door to see booths featuring beauty, fashion, and jewelry, as well as visit with organizations that were educational or provided services for women. A special highlight of this year’s event was the door prize raffle – a spa package donated by FiveOneSeven Salon!
The Jackson Women’s Expo is so popular that many vendors sign up for a booth a year in advance. We already have vendors booked for our 2020 Women’s Expo! Some of our vendors that return year after year include A Frame Above, Elegant Creations, Horse Creek Candles, Jackson County Conservation District, Younique, Cinnful Snacks, and Cascades Humane Society.
While we can’t have a Women’s Expo without vendors, we certainly can’t without volunteers! We love finding local Jackson groups that we can support while they volunteer. Charities that benefited from the 2019 Women’s Expo included Girl Scout Troop #60197, Vandercook Lake Cheerleaders, and the Hanover-Horton American Legion. These fantastic groups helped provide parking, concessions, and coat check services.
American 1 Credit Union is proud to host events like the Jackson Women’s Expo as a way to give back to our community.
Throughout the 2018-2019 basketball season, American 1 visited 13 local high schools to show support through Half Court Shoot-Outs.
To enter the Half Court Shoot-Out, individuals attending the game submit their name into a drawing. Two fans attending the game are chosen at random to attempt a half-court shot during half-time. Each fan receives two chances to make a basket. But even if they don't make the shot, participants don't leave empty-handed - simply for being selected, the individuals receive $50 and the school receives $250. If the shooter is lucky enough to sink a half-court shot, American 1 Credit Union awards them $500 and the participating school $1,000. One of Hanover Horton’s lucky fans was the only participant who made a half-court shot to win $500 for himself and $1,000 for the school.
American 1 proudly donated $4,000 during the 2018-2019 high school basketball season.
To register your high school for next year’s American 1 Half Court Shoot Out, please email: email@example.com
We are a couple of months into the year, but there is still plenty of time to get your savings in check for 2019! Use these tips below to make 2019 the most profitable year yet.
Determine your savings goals.
Although we all should have some savings, why do you want to save? Do you want to have an emergency fund in your account? Are you in the market for a new car? Need to pay off some loans? Establishing why you want to save and keeping those goals in mind will help you stay on track.
Write down all spending for one month.
Write down every single expense that comes out of your account for the month. Whether that is bills, groceries, restaurants or anything else. This will help you really see how much money comes out of your account each month and where you can cut back. You can also utilize free apps to help track your spending like Wally or Penny.
Set up a budget based on your past month’s spending log.
Identify the money you spent on needs and the money you spent on wants. Things like going out to eat, unused subscriptions or memberships, and morning coffees can really add up and often can be unnecessary. See what you can cut out to save a bit more and put that extra money in your savings account. If building a budget sounds intimidating, there are many free templates and apps that can help you.
Watch your savings add up!
After a few weeks of saving with your new budget, you will start to see money adding up in your savings account. Let that savings be your motivator to continue and make budgeting a habit. Your wallet will thank you!
Need some additional help with your finances? Ask about setting up a meeting with one of our Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors.
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce their Michigan Center Branch is now open at 4400 Page Ave., Michigan Center, Michigan. The new office is their 15th branch and the sixth branch location in Jackson County.
“Jackson County is our home. The addition of the Michigan Center Branch helps to round out accessibility on the east side of our community,” noted Laura Pryor, American 1 Credit Union’s VP of Marketing & Communications. “Our members have been asking for a location in this area and we are delighted to be up and running with extended hours for our current members and to welcome new members to the American 1 family.”
The Michigan Center Branch is open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, which are standard hours at most American 1 branches. The branch features teller stations, member service areas, drive-thru lanes, and two convenient no-fee ATMs.
Branch Manager William Panik is thrilled about the opening. “I am excited to be working in the Michigan Center community. I look forward to meeting existing American 1 members and welcoming new members to the credit union. My team and I are here for all members’ needs and we are eager to assist them.”
Following the opening of the Manchester Branch late last year, American 1 Credit Union is continuing its growth in Michigan communities. American 1 is proud to serve the members of their communities with everyday banking services in a local, personal setting.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee, and Wayne counties.
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce their second sponsorship of a Talons Out Honor Flight, taking place on April 20, 2019. Talons Out is a 501(c)(3) and a regional hub of the national non-profit organization Honor Flight. Honor Flight volunteers serve Veterans with an all-expense paid trip to our nation’s capital where they tour monuments built in their honor.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the Honor Flight movement for the second year in a row,” shared Laura Pryor, VP of Marketing & Communications for American 1. “Sponsoring the flight represents American 1’s desire to celebrate our Veterans and give them the honor they deserve. Our 2018 sponsorship helped spread the word of Talons Out, which significantly increased the number of Veterans going on the Honor Flight.”
Bobbie Bradley, President of Talons Out, shared they are now accepting Vietnam Era Veterans as of February 5, 2019. This will give even more Veterans the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. and the memorials that recognize their sacrifice.
“We are excited to include Vietnam Era Veterans as part of the Veteran group we officially serve. WWII, Korea, and Vietnam heroes all deserve to be honored. WWII is the reason Honor Flight began, and we will continue to make those Veterans our top priority. When we started Talons Out just five short years ago, there were around 2 million WWII Veterans and we were losing them at a rate of 1,000 per day. Today, about 290,000 remain and we are losing them at a rate of around 250 per day,” said Bradley.
Veterans can apply for the Honor Flight at talonsouthonorflight.org, or stop in at any American 1 branch for an application. Guardians are welcome to apply, as well as assist Veterans in the application process.
American 1 and Talons Out invite the community to join them for a Welcome Home Party at Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo the night of April 20. The evening will be one of celebration as the crowd welcomes home the Vets from their whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C.
To find out more information about applying for the Talons Out Honor Flight, please visit the Talons Out website, or for more information regarding the Welcome Home Party, please visit American 1’s website at www.american1cu.org/honor-flight.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee and Wayne counties.
On Tuesday, February 19, American 1 Credit Union hosted their second annual Supermarket Sweep at the Country Market in Adrian, Michigan. Contestants competed to gather the most groceries within five minutes. All groceries were donated to The Salvation Army of Adrian.
American 1 has hosted several charity Supermarket Sweeps in the past. This year’s teams included Adrian College, Adrian District Library, Croswell Opera House, Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan, Siena Heights University, WLEN Radio, and American 1 Credit Union. Goodwill took home first place collecting 51 out of 66 items followed by Croswell Opera House and Adrian College. In total, 326 items were donated to The Salvation Army of Adrian valued at $700.
“We are thrilled to be able to give back to our community in such a fun way,” said American 1 Credit Union’s Brand Marketing Manager Jorden Griffin. “We couldn’t think of a better organization to donate to than The Salvation Army, and we are appreciative of the local businesses and organizations who joined us today.”
As with all American 1 events, the primary focus of the Adrian Supermarket Sweep is giving back to the community. American 1 Credit Union is proud to host positive events like the Supermarket Sweep as a way to give back to the people who make their communities great.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee and Wayne counties.
American 1 Credit Union is proud to announce that their 2018 Member Giveback totaled more than $1.2 million dollars in loan interest rebates and other givebacks to members of the credit union. In addition to cash back for members, American 1 awarded extra Bonus Rewards Points to their credit card holders worth more than $315,000.
The bold generosity of the 2018 Member Giveback was mirrored by American 1’s community giving. Charitable and community contributions exceeded $314,000, providing funds to more than 200 organizations and non-profits. Among the most notable were American 1’s gift to Jackson School of the Arts for their capital campaign for a Dynamic Arts Center and the sponsorship of Talons Out Honor Flight for the benefit of veterans in the communities that American 1 serves.
In April of 2018, American 1 Credit Union also took a bold step, gaining the attention of national media, when they announced a $1 million dollar increase in compensation for all employees with the exception of their CEO, at the same time raising their minimum hourly wage to $13.
Laura Pryor, VP of Marketing and Communications, elaborated on what drives American 1’s generosity, “The common thread of the bold generosity that characterizes the way American 1 conducts business is people. We believe that providing exceptional, personal service for the everyday banking needs of members is a simple business model that we are doing well. Success begins with our members. Our employees work hard to serve our 58,000 members with great services. When we do our work well, members are loyal and refer their family and friends. Member loyalty fueled 14% growth for American 1 in 2018, which is well above the industry average. Our success provides the opportunity to give back to our members and communities in a bold way. It really comes down to caring for people.”
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee and Wayne counties.
Skimmers are illegal and malicious card readers attached to a payment terminal such as a gas station pump or an ATM. These small and sometimes nearly undetectable card readers steal the information from a card when it is swiped or inserted. Criminals then use the information to create copycat cards, purchase goods, or sell the card information to someone else. Here are a few proactive tips to use to help prevent you from becoming a victim of this common scam:
- Examine the card reader closely – Does it look like something has been added to it? Does there appear to be an extra piece? Report anything on a reader that looks wrong.
- Look for a security seal on your gas station pump - many gas stations use them as a way to prevent tampering.
- Wiggle the reader before swiping or inserting your card to see if something is loose or comes off. If a skimmer has been added, the card reader may feel loose.
- Check for any signs of tampering. If there appears to be tampering anywhere on the ATM or gas pump, or if things simply do not look right, do not use it and report your concern.
- Never get comfortable with an ATM or gas pump that you use frequently – always take the time to look over the machine.
- Review your account balances regularly using your mobile banking app. If you notice any unauthorized charges, contact American 1 or your other financial institution immediately to report it. You can also use your mobile app to temporarily shut off your card by selecting the menu, then “Card Controls,” and using the toggle switch to toggle off the card in question.
American 1 is dedicated to the security of our members and their account information. If you notice anything that seems wrong when using any payment device, don’t proceed. If possible report your concern to the owner of the store or institution, or call us at 1-888-213-2848.
Just in time for this holiday of love, American 1 would like to remind you to protect your heart – and your wallet. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released data that spotlighted Romance Scams as the #1 scam occurring right now, and the statistics are staggering. The number of romance scams reported to the FTC has increased from 8,500 in 2015 with losses of $33 million to 21,000 in 2018 with losses totaling $143 million. Also, people ages 40-69 report losing money to Romance Scams at the highest rate – more than twice the rate of 20-somethings. People age 70 and over report the highest median losses at $10,000.
While we want our members to be informed of the statistics, we don’t want you to lose hope. Love and online dating is not a lost cause, just always remember these few tips:
- Do your research on potential dating sites before joining or beginning to chat with matches. Some sites have identity verification tools required when you join to try and reduce the number of fake profiles.
- Don’t send money or gifts to anyone you have not met in person.
- When conversing with online suitors, take it slow. Scrutinize their responses and look for inconsistent or evasive answers.
- Check photos by using the “search by image” feature of your search engine. If you find your online love’s picture, but with someone else’s name, chances are that Mr./Ms. Right are really Mr./Ms. Wrong.
- Love can put stars in our eyes, but you still have to evaluate the facts. If you have the slightest concern, talk to a real life friend.
- If you suspect a Romance Scam, cut off contact right away. Report it to the FTC at www.ftc.gov/complaint and notify the dating site where you met the person.
If you’re like more than half of Americans these days, you’re likely using a peer-to-peer payment platform such as Venmo, Zelle, or Cash App to send someone cash with the tap of an app. Easy right? Be on guard scammers are always looking to find a way into your pocketbooks and technology is an easy way to get there! While Paypal can be used as a payment platform for goods and services these peer-to-peer apps should not be.
Here are a couple of ways to protect yourself when using P2P.
- Check your account settings to see if you can enable additional security.
- Check social media settings and permissions. You do not want to share information.
- Read the terms and service if you are unsure what kind of transactions are permitted.
- Don’t send or receive money from someone you don’t know.
- Don’t sell items via Facebook or Craigslist through P2P.
Some of the worst scams happen when trying to sell items. The seller hands over the item once Venmo has confirmed the deposit from the buyer or scammer in this case. But shortly after, the buyer can ask Venmo to reverse the charges and the seller is left with no item and no money. In one incident a seller handed over custom sneakers for $13, 550. The scammer reversed the payment before the seller received the funds, losing the shoes and the money.
How do you make P2P work for you and keep the fraudsters away? P2P apps are intended to replace cash and for sending money to individuals you know. The key word here, people you KNOW. An example would be your cousin who purchased those Red Wing’s tickets for the group, or your best friend who put dinner on her card. P2P is relatively easy to use and understand and can be a great way to make payments as long as it is used in the right way.
Over 1 billion people are active on Facebook. It increases connection and allows people to communicate throughout the world. Just like any other means of communicating fraudsters have found a way to take advantage of a good thing. Scams happen on Facebook when people create fake accounts or hack into existing Facebook accounts or pages you’ve liked. The scammers use these fake accounts or compromised accounts to trick you into giving them money or personal information. If you’ve received a message that you believe is a scam you should avoid responding and report it to Facebook. Here are some common red flags to watch out for:
- People asking you for money who you don’t know in person.
- People asking you for advance fees to receive a loan, prize or other winnings.
- People asking you to move your conversation off Facebook (such as a separate email)
- People claiming to be a friend or relative in an emergency
- Messages or posts with poor spelling and grammatical mistakes
- Pages representing large companies, organizations or public figures that are not verified
- People or accounts directing you to a page to claim a prize
- People asking to use your bank account or debit card to make a deposit because they “don’t have access to their account”
Increase your security and setting your page to private can help reduce your exposure to these fake/compromised accounts.
Although massively underreported, financial exploitation is increasingly becoming a rampant form of abuse among aging adults, particularly those with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. These crimes are now so widespread that elderly financial abuse is often called “the crime of the twenty-first century.” Unfortunately, most abusers are close friends, acquaintances, or family members who take advantage of situations of cognitive decline and diminished capacity; in fact, NAPSA reports that 90 percent of abusers are family members or other trusted individuals.
Financial abuse can take many forms, from soliciting for fake charities to telemarketing scams and identity theft. In order to protect yourself and your loved ones you need to understand the warning signs of financial elder abuse and that keeping your eyes and ears open could help prevent you or your loved ones from becoming a victim of this particularly heinous crime.
The National Center on Elderly Abuse defines financial or material exploitation as the illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property or assets. Common signs of financial exploitation may include:
- Unexpected changes in bank account balances or banking practices.
- Allowing a new friend or trusted acquaintance to make decisions on the elderly person’s behalf.
- Unauthorized or unexplained financial account withdrawals.
- The disappearance of funds or valuable possessions.
- Unanticipated transfer of assets to a family member or friend.
- Sudden changes to a will or other important financial documents.
Millions of older Americans become victims of financial fraud each year.
- 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day.
- Over 13% of older Americans become victims of financial fraud every year.
- Of those who are subject to a fraud attempt, 25% with become a fraud victim.
- Older adults lose more than $3 billion annually to financial scams.
If you suspect elder abuse or financial exploitation of a family member or loved one contact your local department of health and human services.
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce they will open two new branches in Jackson County in 2019. The new branches will open in Michigan Center and Spring Arbor.
The Michigan Center Branch, located at 4400 Page Avenue, is scheduled to open early spring, with the Spring Arbor Branch opening on M-60 near King Road in late fall.
“American 1 is excited about expansion in our home county of Jackson. Our members continue to place a high value on in-branch, personal service. Providing new branch locations where there is significant demand is one of the most important ways we give back to our members. We are delighted to bring our brand of everyday banking to additional communities,” noted Laura Pryor, American 1 Credit Union’s VP of Marketing & Communications.
Both branches will offer American 1’s extended hours of 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturdays. The branches will feature teller stations, member service areas, drive-thru lanes, and two convenient, no-fee ATMs.
Following the opening of the Manchester Branch in November, American 1 is continuing its growth in southern Michigan communities. Michigan Center and Spring Arbor will be the credit union’s 15th and 16th locations. American 1 Credit Union is proud to serve the members of their communities with everyday banking services in a local, personal setting.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 58,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee, and Wayne counties.
As announced in a Washington Post article earlier today, Marriott International, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, revealed that its Starwood reservations database had been hacked and that the personal information of up to 500 million guests could have been stolen.
You can view the full Washington Post article at https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/30/marriott-discloses-massive-data-breach-impacting-million-guests/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b048f93fe596. You can also visit the information site set up by Marriott at info.starwood.com.
American 1 is actively monitoring the situation and how it may affect our members. However, if you are concerned that your card may have been breached, you may call any branch to receive a free replacement card.
American 1 Manchester Branch Now Open
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to announce their Manchester Branch is now open at 10903 M52, Manchester, Michigan. The new office is their third branch located along M52 connecting Chelsea and Adrian branches.
“We have more than 1,100 members who reside in and around Manchester,” noted Laura Pryor, American 1 Credit Union’s VP of Marketing & Communications. “We look forward to providing a full-service local branch with extended hours for our current and new members from the community.”
The Manchester office hours are from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, which is standard at most American 1 branch offices. The branch features teller stations, member service areas, drive-thru lanes, and two convenient no-fee ATMs.
Area resident and Branch Manager, Rebecca Hatto, is thrilled about the opening. “I am happy to be able to work in the Manchester community again. I love working at American 1 Credit Union and serving new and familiar faces.”
Following the opening of the Adrian Branch in November of last year, the American 1 Credit Union is continuing its growth in southern Michigan communities. The Manchester Branch is the credit union’s 14th location. American 1 Credit Union is proud to serve the members of their communities with everyday banking services in a local, personal setting.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 57,500 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Lenawee, and Wayne counties.
Breaking Ground on New American 1 Event Center
A Groundbreaking Ceremony, held today, marked the beginning of construction on the new American 1 Event Center at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. The construction project is the result of a Public-Private Partnership Agreement between American 1 Credit Union and Jackson County, Michigan. The agreement solidifies a four million dollar gift from American 1 to Jackson County for the construction of the six million dollar facility.
American 1 first announced its intention to contribute to the project in November of 2016. “Over the past two years, we’ve watched the plans for the new Event Center become the cornerstone of a park that will be a lovely green space where the public will gather and play. The plan for reinventing the Fairgrounds is better than anything we could have imagined. A place downtown where people can enjoy walking and biking, and perhaps a river walk, along with indoor space for all kinds of events, is a resource we don’t currently have,” expressed Martha Fuerstenau, American 1 Credit Union’s President/CEO.
The new American 1 Event Center will be an affordable space appropriate for large and small events. The facility, with its flexible configurations, will be ideal for weddings and family gatherings, corporate and community events, and mid-sized conventions. The American 1 Event Center will accommodate up to 850 guests for banquets and 1,500 attendees in theater-style seating. It will feature a full catering kitchen to enhance the food service experience.
James (Steve) Shotwell, Chairman of the Jackson County Commission, stated, “The end result of this Public-Private Partnership with American 1 is that the project will influence the people of Jackson County for decades to come. The new American 1 Event Center and the benefits that it brings to our community will allow people to enjoy Jackson together. All that is happening in this space is part of a County Master Plan which includes changing the current limited-use Fairgrounds into a year-round, multi-faceted park.”
The excitement of this development and the greater plan for the fairgrounds property is just one of many significant projects taking place in Jackson. "This continues to be an exciting time for Jackson. As a company that's committed to our community's success, we look forward to seeing the new American 1 Event Center bring people together and fuel even more growth in Jackson," said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy's President and CEO. "When Jackson wins, we all win."
The Public-Private Partnership, a first for American 1, was two years in development and served as a catalyst for additional funding. Fuerstenau shared, “We believe we have a responsibility to our home community of Jackson, to contribute to important improvements that will make a lasting difference for generations. We believe that economic development of this kind attracts visitors and new residents. We are thrilled to play an important role in the transformation that is taking place in the community that’s been our home for sixty-eight years. We hope that this gift inspires similar gifts from fellow local businesses for the betterment of our wonderful community.”
American 1 Contributing to Jackson School of the Arts Capital Campaign
American 1 Credit Union and Jackson School of the Arts “go way back.” According to Jackson School of the Arts Executive Director Kim Curtis, “American 1 Credit Union was our first Corporate Sponsor. It began when American 1 chose us as the benefactor for the funds raised by their high school talent competition called American 1 Teen Idol. Our partnership began in 2007 and has continued to grow since then.”
Kim Curtis and Martha Fuerstenau, President and CEO of American 1 Credit Union, jointly announced this morning that American 1 is making a $100,000 contribution to the Jackson School of the Arts Capital Campaign for a Dynamic Arts Center. The $3 million-dollar campaign will give the Jackson School of the Arts the room it needs to grow by breathing life into the iconic Masonic Temple in downtown Jackson. Jackson School of the Arts, which provides nearly 100 lessons in the arts per week to 1,500 children and teens annually, has entered into a partnership with the City of Jackson to lease the historic Masonic Temple for its new home. Interior renovations to create studios, family areas, restrooms and performance facilities will be the responsibility of Jackson School of the Arts, while exterior infrastructure such as roofing and windows will remain under the responsibility of the City as the property owner. “Our programs have grown so large that we are out of space in our current facility. Our new home will be part of the redevelopment of downtown Jackson, making the arts a big part of the revitalization of this area,” explained Curtis.
Former State Senator Phil Hoffman and current Chairman of the American 1 Board of Directors shared the Board’s sentiments on the contribution, “Our Board has felt strongly about the need for families and children to have access to lessons in the arts for a very long time. What we like so much about the Jackson School of the Arts, is that their students come from a wide cross-section of families in our community. Many people don’t know that 79% of students attend on scholarships, which are based on family income. We’ve long recognized that the Jackson School of the Arts is a true jewel for families in Jackson and the surrounding communities.”
The size of the gift is a reflection of the multifaceted benefit that this campaign offers. “A beautiful historic building is being brought back to life and will serve as a center of activity downtown. We are pleased to invest in the education of children, the preservation of a landmark, and the redevelopment of Jackson. We’re thrilled that this gift can be part of helping all of that to happen,” remarked Fuerstenau.
The Campaign for a Dynamic Arts Center is at 58% of the campaign goal. The gift from American 1 Credit Union has been designated to renovate the space in the building that will be used by parents and children who are waiting for a child who is attending a class. There will be space for siblings to do homework and play, as well as room for parents to relax or work on their mobile devices. The family area will also provide classroom space where parents can gain knowledge in budgeting, parenting, and other life skills.
American 1 Credit Union has awarded 10 high school graduates from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service. American 1 offered the awards through their 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. The $25 fees are then used to fund the scholarship program.
The 2018 American 1 Community Involvment Scholarship winners are:
• Katherine Powell of Brooklyn
• Sydney Davis-Green of Jackson
• Karlie Champion of Battle Creek
• Grant Glen of Grass Lake
• Ryan Jones of Sterling Heights
• Leah Pifer of Chelsea
• Hailey Cunningham of Jackson
• Taylor Thrush of Pleasant Lake
• Karsen McCord of Jackson
• Grant Weston of Deerfield
American 1 Credit Union serves over 53,000 members through 13 branches in seven counties. Based in Jackson, American 1 is proud to be Michigan, hosting more than 10 free, family-friendly events every year in the areas they serve. Visit www.american1cu.org for more information.
Linda Schaub, Executive Director of Development for Spring Arbor University, has accepted an appointment to the Board of Directors of American 1 Credit Union. Schaub was appointed to fill a vacated board seat.
“We are excited to welcome Linda Schaub to our Board of Directors. Her expertise and personal involvement in non-profit work gives her a great understanding of how boards work. She will serve the credit union and its members very well,” commented Former Senator Philip E. Hoffman, American 1 Credit Union Board Chairman.
Schuab, who previously served on the Scholarship Committee of American 1 Credit Union, has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration and serves on the board of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Jackson Michigan Chorale. “Linda is an exceptional fit with the American 1 CU philosophy of giving back to the community because of her work in the non-profit sector and as an avid promoter of the Jackson community.” continued Hoffman.
Schaub holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University and earned her Associates Degree from Jackson College.
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 56,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb, Wayne, and Lenawee Counties.
American 1 Credit Union is proud to announce a new compensation strategy for the credit union’s 187 employees. The new compensation plan, which took effect on April 25, 2018, increases wages for every position at American 1, with the exception of the CEO, and comes at an annual cost of $954,405.00 in increased compensation.
American 1’s President/CEO, Martha Fuerstenau, announced the wage increase to all American 1 employees on April 11th at the credit union’s Quarterly Staff Meeting.
“Credit unions are cooperatives. We provide financial services to members and, when we are as successful as American 1 is, we make it a priority to give back as much as possible to our members. In the past two years alone, we’ve had the pleasure of giving back more than $2.58 million to our members,” shared Fuerstenau. “It simply makes good business sense to give back to our employees. Our sustained growth and incredible financial strength is driven by member satisfaction. Member satisfaction is directly related to the level of service and care our staff provides to our members every day. Our executive team and Board of Directors are delighted to implement this change. I also believe that higher wages will help us recruit more great people to join our growing team.”
The new compensation strategy includes an increase in the credit union’s minimum wage to $13.00 per hour. The minimum wage is the hourly rate of pay for new employees who have no previous experience in financial services, and is an 18% jump in pay for new hires. The rise in wages for hourly staff represents 74% of the total increase.
The significant wage increase is part of an existing list of benefits which includes health, dental, and vision insurance at no cost to full time employees. Additionally, American 1 offers student loan repayment, college tuition reimbursement, and retirement benefits, as well as more traditional perks such as paid vacation and paid personal time.
“One of the most exciting things about the wage increase,” expressed Laura Pryor, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, “is that this investment of nearly one million dollars in our staff will directly impact the communities where we live and transact business. Ultimately, this is American 1 Credit Union giving back to our community in a new and ongoing way.”
American 1 Credit Union is based in Jackson, Michigan and serves over 56,000 members with 13 branch locations in seven Michigan counties.
At American 1 Credit Union, we believe veterans should be treated with the respect and honor they deserve and fought for. We are proud to be sponsoring a Talon’s Out Honor Flight on April 21st for local WWII and terminally ill veterans to fly round trip from Kalamazoo to Washington D.C. to see the WWII memorial and other monuments. For many veterans, this brings closure and peace to an otherwise difficult time in their life.
Talons Out is a 501(c)(3) and a regional hub of the national non-profit organization Honor Flight and is comprised of a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers. Be assured to your loved one will be given the VIP treatment by very skilled and experienced individuals. If you know a WWII Veteran or a terminally ill veteran, please help your friend or family member apply to be honored and cherished in the way they deserve on this Talons Out Honor Flight. Apply online at https://www.american1cu.org/honor-flight or visit any American 1 branch to apply in person.
For a more in-depth look at what a Talon’s Out Honor Flight is really like, please join American 1 at the Michigan Theatre on Sunday, March 18th at 3PM for a free showing of Mission Accomplished: Talon’s Out Honor Flight, a WGVU/PBS documentary about an actual Talons Out Honor Flight. Come watch the film and see how you can get involved with our sponsored Honor Flight departing on April 21.
They served. We Honor. They fly.
American 1 Credit Union, a Michigan based credit union, is pleased to announce that the credit union will open its 13th branch office in Adrian, Michigan this fall. The office will be a full-service branch inside the Country Market Grocery Store, located at 1535 W. Maumee Street in Adrian. Construction is underway and is expected to be completed later this fall.
“We have more than 4,000 members who call Lenawee County home, many of whom reside in and around Adrian,” noted Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Laura Pryor. “We are looking forward to providing a full-service local branch with extended hours for our current members and new members from the community.” The Adrian office will be open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday.
“The Adrian branch team has been in training for several weeks and we are pleased that they are familiar with the community, as most live near Adrian,” said Pryor. As part of our no-fee ATM network, American 1 has provided an ATM inside the Country Market Store in Adrian for many years. In contrast with industry trends, we operate more than 50 no-fee ATMS throughout the region, providing our members and guests with access to their accounts without a surcharge.
American 1 Credit Union and Country Market enjoy a partnership that spans two decades. The Adrian branch is the third American 1 office to be located inside County Market Stores. Current in-store branches are located in Chelsea and Brooklyn. We are looking forward to the official opening of our Adrian branch! Continue to watch our website and Facebook page for updates.
Thursday, September 7, 2017, Equifax reported that hackers gained access to some of its systems, compromising the personal information of roughly 143 million U.S. consumers. Equifax is one of the “big three” credit-reporting firms in the United States, holding more than 200 million credit reports. The credit-reporting company says that hackers had access to customer’s names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birth dates, and addresses.
In addition to the other information that was compromised, it is also estimated that the credit card numbers for 209,000 consumers were stolen, as well as documents containing personal information of 182,000 people.
American 1 Credit Union does not share our members’ information with Equifax. Our members will not be affected by having an account, loan, or credit card with us. However, if you have credit or loans anywhere else, your information may be a part of this breach.
To find out if your information is potentially impacted, you may visit this website, provided by Equifax, to check. Equifax is providing a year of TrustedID Premier to anyone who wishes to enroll – regardless of whether or not your information may have been compromised.
For more information, read this New York Times article.
In 2016, American 1 gave back $1,000,000 to members. This year, we’re giving back even more! Members will receive 50% of the interest they paid on their 2017 loan from the date of opening through the end of this year.* These funds will be deposited back into your savings account in January 2018. To qualify, you must open a new secured, closed-end loan between January and December of 2017; you must make all payments on all loans with American 1 on time, and your loan must still be open at the time of the rebate posting.
Last year’s average rebate for members was more than $400! There are a lot of things you can do with that money. Here are a few ideas:
- Bulk up your savings account. American 1 will be depositing your refund directly into your savings account when refunds are processed. You can keep these funds tucked away into your savings account to save for a rainy day or an emergency.
- Pay down your loan. You can use the money from your refund to make progress on paying off your loan! This is money you’ve already paid towards your loan once; why not double its value?
- Pay down other debt. Refunds will hit your savings account in January, just after the holidays. If you have some credit card debt or a personal loan, or any other kind of debt, use your refund to pay down your debt and give your credit score a little boost.
- Splurge on yourself. You’ve worked hard all year and made all your loan payments on time. Go treat yourself with something special - you deserve it!
- Donate to charity. American 1 loves to encourage our members to give back when they’re able. You can use your Great Give Back refund to do some good in your community. Choose a charity that is important to you and give a donation that makes a difference.
Do you have plans for your Great Give Back refund? We’d love to hear it!
To apply for a loan that qualifies you for the Great Give Back, fill out our loan application here.
*Disclosure: Must credit qualify. Qualifications for the $1.5 Million Back to Member Campaign: All closed-end, secured loans opened in 2017 are eligible for a fifty percent (50%) interest rebate. The 50% interest to be included for the rebate is the interest paid on the loan throughout 2017. The funds will be deposited to the eligible member's savings share at American 1 by January 15, 2018. If at any time during 2017 the loan becomes delinquent (one (1) or more days past due), if any other loan with American 1 becomes delinquent, or if the loan is no longer financed with American 1, the member will forfeit the rebate. Home equity loans do not qualify for the rebate, and refinances cannot be a current American 1 loan.
Choosing a secure PIN for your debit or credit card is an important step in protecting your identity. Many people never update their PIN when their card is issued, or use something easy to remember like their birth year or birthday. Did you know that out of 10,000 possible combinations, more than 25% of all PINs are accounted for in the top 20 most common? To go even further, 50% of all PINs are accounted for in the top 500 most common.
The number one most popular PIN number is 1234, followed by 1111 and 0000. When you are choosing a PIN number, you want to pick a set of numbers that others would not be able to guess.
You should avoid using:
Your birth year
Birth month/date combination (mmdd)
Your house number
Last four digits of your phone number or social security number
Anything with repeating digits (3333, etc.)
While it may seem difficult to come up with a number that you’ll remember without it being in one of the categories listed above, think of it this way - if a thief were to steal your wallet, what numbers would they guess? Your driver’s license will have your birthday and address on it. You might have your social security number in your wallet, or your phone number. These are numbers that are typically more likely to be used. But choosing something that others wouldn’t be able to associate with you is a great step in protecting the funds you have on your card.
Some safer choices:
Childhood house number
Combination of dates – like the day of the month of your wedding anniversary, and the day of your birthday
A random number that you can memorize
Thieves do have a limited number of guesses before your card will be locked for incorrect PIN entries, but by making your PIN a more difficult number to guess, you’re making your accounts even more secure.
Protect yourself - come to any branch today to choose a new PIN for your debit or credit card!
To view some more fun statistics about PIN numbers, check out this article.
Today longtime American 1 Credit Union President and CEO David C. Puckett officially announced his retirement after 35 years of service to the credit union.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve the members of American 1 Credit Union for the past three and a half decades,” said Puckett in reference to his retirement. “I really couldn’t be much happier with my years at American 1.”
Since Puckett took leadership in 1982, American 1 Credit Union has seen two name changes, six successful mergers, a charter change, growth from around 7,000 members to more than 55,000 members, and expansion from two branch locations to 13 branches spanning six counties across southern Michigan.
“Through all of the years of changes and accomplishments,” continues Puckett, “I truly think our greatest achievement is our focus on our community. Without our members, we wouldn’t be the stable institution that we are today. It is because of them that we are able to give back as generously as we do.”
In 2016 alone, American 1 gave back more than $1 million to its members and over $150,000 to charities in the communities that they serve.
“There is no doubt that American 1 Credit Union would not be the strong, sound financial institution it is today without Dave’s direction and influence,” commented Senator Philip Hoffman, American 1 Board Chairman and former State Senator. “He has been instrumental in the success of American 1 and will be leaving quite a legacy.”
After a nationwide search, the American 1 Board of Directors have chosen current American 1 Executive Vice President Martha Fuerstenau as Puckett’s successor upon his December retirement. Fuerstenau has been with American 1 for 33 years and will begin serving as President and CEO on January 1, 2018.
“I am thrilled to take on the role of President and CEO, and honored to be chosen by the Board of Directors of American 1 Credit Union,” remarked Fuerstenau regarding her forthcoming position change. “Excellent service to our members in the communities we serve will continue to be the focus of our team. American 1 Credit Union, under the leadership of retiring CEO David Puckett, is financially strong and ready for future growth and development. I look forward to working with the board, staff, and membership to build on our current success of meeting the financial needs of all people in our community.”
Established in 1950, American 1 Credit Union today serves over 55,000 members with branches in Jackson, Washtenaw, Hillsdale, Calhoun, Macomb and Wayne counties.
Chipotle has announced a data breach affecting restaurants between March 24, 2017 and April 18, 2017 – though the investigation may expand this timeframe. Consumers who have made purchases at Chipotle during this time should monitor their card statements for any unauthorized charges. The investigation is ongoing and updates will be posted at the following website: https://www.chipotle.com/security
If you are concerned that your American 1 card may have been compromised, please contact Card Services at 517-787-6510 to have your card replaced or you can contact your local branch with any concerns or questions.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) confirmed that malware infected point-of-sale devices have affected at least 1,200 hotels since September 2016. The malware intercepts payment card information as it is routed through the affected server. Some brands operated by IHG include Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, Kimpton, and Holiday Inn. A list of locations that may have been affected can be found HERE.
If you are concerned that your American 1 card may have been compromised, please contact Card Services at 517-787-6510 to have your card replaced. As more news stories are posted, we will continue to add them to the list below for you to review. Please contact your local branch with any concerns or questions.
What is GAP and why do you want it?
Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) coverage is a protection that you can take out on your loan with American 1. In the event of a total loss or theft, GAP coverage pays the “gap” between the vehicle’s value and the amount you still owe on your loan.
For example, if you owe $10,000 on your loan, but your vehicle is only worth $8,000 and is totaled, GAP will pay the $2,000 difference. Plus, you will receive $1,000 towards your next vehicle when you continue to finance with American 1. Not to mention, GAP from American 1 is cheaper than getting it through a dealership. American 1’s GAP price is only $349, compared to local dealership prices of up to $795.
GAP is available on cars, trucks, vans, ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis, snowmobiles, boats, motor homes, and travel trailers. For more information, head to your local American 1 Credit Union and ask to speak with any Member Service Specialist.
Several times throughout the year, American 1 Credit Union hosts used car sales in the Jackson Michigan area. During the car sales, multiple dealerships bring vehicles offering the car buyers more than 300 vehicles to shop from – all in one location!
The car lot will be organized by dealership. Within each dealership, each car will have a tag in the window with the price. There is also a color coded system of flags on the cars so you know which cars are in your price range.
March Car Sale Flag System:
American Flags = $10,000 and under
Blue Flags = $10,001-$14,999
Red Flags = $15,000 +
Your buying power is strong at American 1 Car Sales. All of the dealerships will be competing for your business, offering you convenient negotiation opportunities. You’ll get the best price on your newly purchased vehicle, and the most for your trade.
When you get preapproved with American 1 prior to the sale, you will receive an Express Pass to make your shopping experience seamless. You will have a lot of the paperwork complete and you will know how much you’re approved for. There will be an Express Pass lane in the finance area to help minimize any wait time once you find your next vehicle!
Other benefits that come with financing with American 1 include rates as low as 1.59% APR, based on credit and term, and 90 days no pay to qualifying members! That means no car payments until summer! We also have concessions available at the sale, and financing is located inside the American 1 Event Center so you will be able to shop rain or shine.
All these reasons are why our members have come to trust American 1 Car Sales. We hope to see you at our March Car Sale on Monday, March 27 – Thursday, March 30.
As part of Credit Eduation Month, we are continuing our blog series on credit. We've discussed the differences between credit, a credit report, and credit score, as well as the factors that make up a credit score. This week, we have a few tips for how to improve your credit.
- Establish a Credit Report – The only way to improve your credit is to have credit. Whether it be an auto loan or a mortgage, a personal loan or a credit card, having some sort of credit to report on is the first step in improving your credit.
- Make Payments and On Time! – Payment history plays a huge part in what makes a credit score. Paying on time is crucial in building your credit. Late payments stay on your credit report for seven years, so you want to ensure that your payments are being made on time. It is also good practice to make more than the minimum payments if possible.
- Get a Credit Card – Using a credit card regularly and maintaining a low balance is a great way to build your credit. By using the card regularly, and then making the payments on time, you are showing the ability to manage your credit and make payments as agreed upon. (Check out our Visa Rewards Credit Card here)
- Use Caution in Closing Accounts – You want to keep your longest standing account open as it increases your credit history. The length of your credit history plays another large factor in your credit score. The longer you have had established credit in good standing, the better.
- Time is key – Your credit will not magically improve overnight. Time and patience are key in improving your score. Open accounts in good standing will stay on your credit report indefinitely, while closed accounts in good standing will remain for 10 years. Collection accounts and chapter 13 bankruptcy will remain for seven years, while unpaid tax liens and chapter 7 bankruptcy will show up for 10 years. Credit inquiries only show up for two years. All of these factors do play a role in your credit. But by continually maintaining good credit habits, you are able to improve your credit score steadily and surely.
If you would like to discuss your credit and come up with a personalized plan to improve it, please visit your local American 1 Credit Union and ask to speak with a Member Service Specialist.
As part of credit education month, last week we discussed the differences between credit, credit reports, and credit scores. Most of the time, when you hear someone talk about having “good credit” or bad credit,” they are referencing their credit score.
A credit score is a numeric summary based on your credit report, ranging from 300 (poor) to 850 (excellent). There are many different models and scales for what makes up your credit score, as it is not an exact science. Below, you can see a quick summary of what factors can affect your credit score.
When a lender looks at your credit score, they see the number and four key factors that are affecting your score. This helps them determine the risk associated with lending to you. Next week, we will be discussing how credit isn't based on luck, and things you can do to improve your credit.
If you’d like more information about your credit score, head to your local American 1 Credit Union and ask to speak with a Member Service Specialist.
The Jackson Women’s Expo is just three days away! Whether you’re a first timer, or a seasoned expo attendee, this event is sure to impress. Here are a few tips from the insiders to prepare for Saturday’s expo:
- Get here early! There are 176 booths this year, so you’ll want to make sure you have time to browse all of the variety we have. Doors open at 10am and some of our regular attendees start lining up before 9am. We’ll try to have the coffee ready for you!
- Use the shuttles! While Parkside does have parking available, JPS Transportation is providing free shuttles to and from the expo from Polly’s on Ferguson Rd, the old K-Mart lot on E. Michigan Ave (it’s closed but we are using their parking lot for the shuttles), and at the Westwood Mall behind Walmart off Brown St. This will save you time trying to find parking. Shuttles will be running continuously from 9AM to 5PM on Saturday. We don’t anticipate that you’ll have to wait more than 15-20 minutes for a shuttle.
- Bring cash or use our Mobile ATM! Many of the vendors will have cash and carry items, or will be taking orders. While several of our vendors are able to take card payments, cash is accepted everywhere. If you forget to pull cash out before the event, we will have the American 1 Mobile ATM at the event for your convenience.
- Come hungry! There will be many great food vendors at the event and some will even be giving out snack samples.
- Wear good walking shoes! With 176 booths, there will be a lot of walking around. Wear comfy shoes to ensure you get the most out of the event.
Bonus Tip: Some of our seasoned attendees have come up with a brilliant idea! Since so many of our vendors offer giveaways, come ready to enter. Print a sheet (or three) of labels with your name, address, phone number, and email on them to save you time. Put your labels on the entry forms and drop them in the box!
We are so excited to see all of you on Saturday. This year’s event is one you won’t want to miss!
March is credit education month! How much do you know about credit?
What is credit?
Credit is obtaining goods or services and paying for them later as agreed upon in a contract. Some types of credit include credit cards, mortgages, car loans, and personal loans. Service contracts like your cable television, cell phone, and utilities are also considered forms of credit. Lenders use your credit score and credit report to determine if they are able to lend to you, and if so, how much they can. Many people think credit is a bad thing, but credit itself isn’t bad. What’s important is how you use it.
What is a credit report?
A credit report is just that – a report about your credit. When you apply for a job, you provide references; when you apply for a loan or credit card, you provide your credit report. It is your financial reference. Included in your credit report are identifying information, credit account information, public records, credit inquiries, and dispute instructions. Criminal background, medical information, transaction information, bank account information and balances are not included in your credit report. Lenders cannot tell how much money you make, how much savings you have, or your spending habits. Credit reports are used to determine the risk associated with lending to you. It helps lenders assess how likely it is that they will receive their money back according to the agreed upon terms. Using credit reports, consumers can address what is helping and hurting their credit, and work to achieve better credit.
What is a credit score?
Put simply, a credit score is a grade based off of your credit report. It’s a faster tool for lenders to use instead of manually assessing your credit report. There are several different models and scales from many different sources. The credit score system is not a “one size fits all” system, since there are many things that impact each individual’s score. Next week, we’ll be going into detail about what exactly goes into a credit score. Stay tuned!
If you’d like more information about your credit report and credit score, head to your local American 1 Credit Union and ask to speak with a Member Service Specialist.
News sources began reporting yesterday that Arby's corporate-owned locations have experienced a data breach. The restaurant reports that more than 355,000 credit and debit cards may have been compromised by malware detected in their cash registers. The reported period of attack occurred from Oct. 25, 2016 to January 19, 2017. Arby's claims that the breach has now been eradicated.
If you are concerned that your American 1 card may have been compromised, please stop in to any American 1 branch to get a new card printed - free of charge. As more news stories are posted, we will continue to add them to the list below for you to review. Please contact your local branch with any concerns or questions.
American 1 Credit Union is pleased to offer several scholarships valued at $1,000 each to Michigan high school seniors through their 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 helps to fund the scholarship program.
Click Here to get a scholarship application. The application deadline is Friday, March 3, 2017.
Cheryl Schantz, Vice President of Human Resources at American 1 Credit Union, said “It’s a great way for our employees to be engaged in our culture of community giving. I’m excited because our employees want to be involved and sometimes they don’t know where to start. We’ve encouraged them by giving them resources, and now the flexibility in their work schedule to be able to volunteer.”
All rebates and dividends have been posted to members accounts.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to the future.
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
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.
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.
- Some frequently asked questions to help you provide information to the affected members in your group.
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.
Executive Vice President, Commercial Business
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.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
(.doc, .docx, or .pdf files only)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.