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Credit Card Scams - Don't Be A Victim5/31/2018

Scammers are using voice calls to steal from unsuspecting members.  The attackers make it look like calls are coming from a legitimate source or known phone number.  During these calls, they ask you to provide a credit card number, PIN, Social Security number, and/or the security codes on the back of the card.  Here are a few steps that you can take to protect yourself:

  • Be aware of scams.  Scammers target you in several different ways.  A current scam involves a call from “VISA” or “MasterCard.”  The caller claims to be calling from the Security & Fraud Department.  Much of your information is already available to the caller.  At the end of the call the caller asks you to “verify” the 3 digits on the back of your card.  These numbers verify that you have the card in your possession and are the authorized owner.  Members First will never ask for any part of your card number when we call you.  VISA will also never ask for your card number, expiration date, PIN, or 3-digit security code.

  • Protect your information. Never provide credit card information or other private information to anyone who calls you.

  • Ask questions.  If someone is trying to sell you something or asks for your personal information, ask for identification and a call back number.  Verify if they are legitimate.  Make sure you call the financial institution or company directly.  Look at a statement or go online to obtain a valid phone number.

  • Register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.  You can do this by going online to donotcall.gov.  While this may not stop all unwanted calls, it will cut back on them.

  • Monitor Your Accounts. It’s always a good idea to log into your accounts daily or at least once a week.  View real time information about your Members First credit card, by enrolling at ezcardinfo.com.  Also, monitor your credit card with the SecurLOCK Equip app for iPhone and Android users.  For more information, visit membersfirstfl.org/digitalwallet.

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NWF Chapter of LSCU Donates Over $49k to Credit Union for Kids1/17/2018

NWF Chapter of the LSCU members with Sacred Heart staff holding donation check

Pensacola FL, January 16, 2018:  The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions held its 13th Annual Panhandle Golf Invitational on Friday, October 27, 2017 at Marcus Point Golf Course in Pensacola. All proceeds generated from the four person golf scramble went to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital – a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

The Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions donated over $49,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network, and a check was presented to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The Northwest Florida Chapter is made up of the following credit unions: Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU.

“The Northwest Florida Chapter Golf Tournament is a fun and important annual event that affects the lives of those in the local area. It is a way for credit unions to fellowship together and raise some money to improve the community that we live in,” Caryl A. Greene, President of the Chapter noted. “We are very grateful for the support of our sponsors, volunteers, family and friends who have made this event possible.”

About Northwest Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions

The Northwest Florida Chapter is the local chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Union,    a trade association in Florida representing the following local credit unions – Florida State Employees FCU, Members First CU of Florida, Okaloosa County Teachers FCU and Pen Air FCU. For more information, contact Michele Williams at 850-434-2211 ext. 102.

About Credit Unions for Kids

Credit Unions for Kids is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

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Equifax Data Breach Incident9/8/2017

Credit reporting agency Equifax has announced a cybersecurity incident that involves a data breach of confidential information such as birthdates and social security numbers that could impact 143 million U.S. consumers. Please be cautious of which sites you visit to determine if your personal information is impacted as scammers may see this as an opportunity to obtain your confidential information.

Equifax has established a website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, including a simple way to check if your information is part of the breach by entering your name and last six digits of your social security number.

As always, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your accounts and report any unusual account activity to our Member Information Center.  And remember Members First will never contact you by phone or email requesting your personal information.

We will post any additional updates as we receive them.

Message from Rick Smith, Chairman and CEO of Equifax.

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Credit Scores: What It Means & How You Can Improve It8/10/2017

Written By: Bluespire

You’re probably aware of how important your credit score is when you’re applying for a loan or line of credit. But what do you know beyond that? Learn what your credit score means, how you can improve it, and why your credit score may differ depending on where you get it.

photo of desk with glasses, keyboard, and credit report

What your credit score means

Your credit score represents your credit risk, or how likely you are to pay your debts on time. All of the biggest consumer credit scoring companies use a credit score scale of 300 to 850. In general, the higher your score, the less of a risk you are to lenders. This means there’s incentive for you to raise your credit score as much as possible. However, every lender weighs credit scores differently, meaning there are no hard-set rules for what makes a “good” or “bad” score.

How to improve your credit score

In order to improve your credit score, you should first know how it’s calculated. Your credit score is derived from looking at five factors: your payment history, the amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, your mix of credit in use and the number of new accounts you’ve opened. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help improve your score:

Request a copy of your credit report. Check for any errors and get them corrected.

• Pay your bills on time. Consistently making timely payments can help improve your score over time.

• Only apply for new credit when you need it. Unless you have no credit history at all, be careful about opening new accounts. Each new account makes it harder for you to keep track of debts and harms the length of your credit history.

• Don’t spend too much on credit. Having too much outstanding debt can negatively impact your score.

Why you’re getting different credit scores

You may notice your credit score is different from one credit bureau to another. This is because each bureau uses a different credit scoring model and iteration of that model when calculating your score. To get a better idea of how lenders may perceive your score, you can request your credit report and score from all three of the major credit bureaus and compare them.

Are you still establishing a credit history? Start building it now with a low-interest credit card  or a Credit Builder loan from Members First.

Bluespire Complimentary Financial Article

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Busting the Myths of Online and Mobile Banking3/14/2017

Written By: Bluespire

Over half of all U.S. adults use online banking services.* Are your concerns about banking online stopping you from joining in? You may be surprised to learn it’s more secure than ever and virtually anything that can be done in-person can now be done, well, virtually. Take a moment to assuage your fears and dispel some myths of digital banking:

photo of computer screen with security

Myth: My banking information is at risk when it’s sent over the internet.

Reality: Federal laws and regulations require financial institutions to keep customer information secure and confidential. On your end, as long as you’re on a secure internet connection (such as a home or work network), have anti-virus software and are on your financial institution’s website or app, then your information shouldn’t be at risk. To be sure you’re on an official and secure website, manually type in the web address instead of clicking a link. You should also look for an “https:” (the “s” stands for “secure”) or a small lock icon next to the web address. To ensure your app is safe, always keep it updated to the latest version.

photo of dollars and cents

Myth: I’ll be charged extra fees for banking online.

Reality: It doesn’t cost banks and credit unions as much to maintain online services as it does to operate and staff physical branches. We don’t charge any extra fees for basic online services.

photo of person writing check

Myth: I still need to go to a branch or ATM to deposit checks.

Reality: Members First Credit Union of Florida offers mobile check deposit for smartphones and tablets. Using our mobile app, you can snap a photo of a check’s front and back and have it deposited into your account without ever leaving home.

photo of couple speaking to credit union representative

Myth: I can’t communicate with an actual person when I bank online.

Reality: True, you don’t get face-to-face interaction unless you visit a branch. However, phone support is available so you can get assistance outside of normal business hours — something a physical location can’t offer. Plus, Members First Credit Union of Florida, now offers online chat when you need help that only a person can provide. Ready to try online banking? Visit www.membersfirstfl.org for more information on Members First Credit Union of Florida’s online services and get started today.

Bluespire Complimentary Financial Article
* Source: Pew Research Center.

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