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Security Update: ‘Inventive’ Scams that Rob Resources

Creating a new product or service is exciting. And one of the primary reasons for this is that you’re eager to produce sales and get it on the market. So getting trademark protection certainly makes, but watch out for mailings & information that looks official but is really just a scam to get your money.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Federal Trade Commission are alerting consumers that there are companies pretending to be these government agencies or their partners—and they’re tricking people into paying them fees.

Such enterprises send patent & trademark holders solicitations that offer to do things like renew registrations, provide monitoring services, record marks with government agencies, or list them on a private registry. In almost all cases, what’s offered is overpriced, unnecessary, or outright fraud.

The names and emblems these imposters use on their forms help them seem like they’re connected with the U.S. government. Some have paid them hundreds or even thousands, mistakenly thinking they were responsible for legitimate registration & maintenance costs.

Read any notice about your patent or trademark carefully. Official mail comes from the United States Patent & Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. If you get an authentic email, the domain will be @uspto.gov. And if you’ve experienced this or other scams, file a report here.

Currency Exchange Services Available at Select Branches

If you’re heading abroad, whether it’s for business or it’s finally time for that dream vacation, we provide foreign currency exchange services to help you make the most of your journey.

America First offers low fees, competitive rates, overnight delivery & more. Some details are:

  • $5,000 per-transaction limit
  • Purchases by cash or collected account funds only
  • Two-day pickups requested (orders are returned after five days)
  • $10 per transaction (buying or selling)
  • Additional $10 for orders under $300 U.S.
  • $15 for FedEx Priority Express (available by noon the next business day)

It’s available at select branches—click here to find one near you.

 

Don’t Wait Until Next Year!

The RV you’ve always dreamed of owning can become a reality with a low-rate loan from America First.

We offer:

  • 12-year fixed terms
  • 20-year balloon payments
  • Flexible options, unmatched service & more

Choose your credit union for the freedom to finance your getaways.

Apply today.

Let Us Know Before You Go

It’s that time again: family vacations, day excursions, maybe even the trip you’ve been planning for years. And there’s no better way to pay for these opportunities than with your America First Visa® cards.

But before you leave, please inform us so we can safeguard your resources.

Call 1-800-999-3961 or log in to free online banking. Use the Other Services tab and look for the Visa traveling form in the bottom-left corner.

You can also visit this link for further information about protecting your finances.

Remember to Regularly Review Your Account Beneficiaries

It makes good financial sense to routinely check & update your America First beneficiaries. You designate who will receive your resources and it’s important to ensure your payable-on-death and individual retirement account (IRA) information is correct.

Many life changes can affect who you want to benefit from your accounts. If you’re newly married, had a child, been divorced or experienced the loss of immediate family member, it’s important to review these individuals.

Payable-on-death designees have rights to funds after all account owners and joint owners have passed. For IRAs, both primary and contingent beneficiaries may be added with corresponding percentages.

For help with beneficiary designations or if you have questions, please contact us or stop by your local branch.

Don’t Let a Getaway Give You Unnecessary Financial Stress

For many, summer vacation planning is done according to a reasonable budget. You research flights, accommodations & destinations; you book the lower-priced alternatives; and you weigh the cost against your savings accumulated specifically for this purpose.

Then you arrive and financial responsibility goes out the window. You’re soon spending without limits and paying no heed to the costs of extras & incidentals. Before you embark this year, here are some tips to consider:

  • Have a goal. Do you want a full two weeks away in another part of the country or would a long weekend at a state park give you the rest & relaxation you need? Think about this issue before you start digging into the details.
  • You’re in control. Where to go and how much to spend is up to you. Take a vacation you can afford and live within your means while you’re there.
  • Go beyond the initial price tag. We all encounter hidden costs, fees, and taxes that come with hotel stays and airline tickets. Don’t forget these things when you’re drawing up your balance sheet.
  • Look ahead. When you get home, begin putting money aside for the next trip. A great way to do this is with a dedicated savings account from America First. With this option, you’ll benefit from competitive returns, convenience & flexibility, and more.

Visit us here for more information about achieving financial health.

Security Update: Take Steps to Guard Against Identity Theft

  • Check yourself

Keep tabs on your credit rating at least once a month. With online banking from America First, you have immediate access to your FICO® Score at no cost. Just take advantage of our free checking accounts or low-rate loans.

  • Shred to safety

Documents with sensitive & financial data need to be disposed of properly—shredding them is the best way to prevent criminal dumpster diving. We offer free events at which you can shred all your information. Here is a schedule.

  • Trust, verify

Whether you’re applying for a new Visa® credit card or you’re using a service that requires your date of birth, make sure you’re doing business with a company that’s legitimate. When you’re online, look for secure sites denoted by the https that precedes the web address.

  • Show strength

This can’t be overemphasized—strong passwords are a best defense practice. Use a mix of numbers & characters, never leave them short, and don’t include personal details such as your pet’s name, birthdays, etc. And remember to change your passwords routinely, at least once a year.

  • Share with care

Resist responding to any requests—especially those from unknown entities & organizations that come over the phone or via the Internet—for personal information that might be used for illegal purposes.

  • Stay informed

Click here to see how we’re working to safeguard your resources.

Get Serious about Saving at our Annual Spring Hertz Sales Event

Are you thinking about a new ride?

There is no better time to get yourself one than at the annual spring America First & Hertz Car Sales on-site event, May 12 & 13.

It’s been part of our history for over 20 years and it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of exclusive member discounts and low pricing.

Plus, you’ll benefit from America First financing that will deliver:

  • Rates as low as 1.99% APR*
  • A $500 Visa® gift card from Hertz with every purchase
  • No payments for 90 days
  • Fast financing
  • Flexible terms

Join us on May 12 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the America First Operations Center: 1344 West 4675 South in Riverdale.

*Annual percentage rate, on approved credit, subject to change, terms & conditions. Equal Opportunity Lender.

 

Security Update: Protecting your Resources is our First Priority

At America First Credit Union, protecting the membership’s finances & information is our highest priority. We offer the best in free security features, including:

  • High-grade network traffic encryption
  • Chip-enabled EMV Visa® cards
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Advanced fraud detection systems
  • Card Guard® mobile app
  • Identity theft recovery services with our credit cards
  • And more

Another essential tool we provide is education. Below are some are beneficial sites where you can learn about the latest frauds, scams, and what to do if you ever become a victim. Review these regularly to guard against cyberattacks that affect millions every year:

And be sure to visit us here for news & updates about how we’re working to safeguard your resources.

Bring us your Balances, Save Big & Get a Cash-Back Bonus

For a limited time, when you transfer balances from other institutions to your America First Visa® credit account, we’ll pay* you 3% of the amount you move!

That’s right, instead of facing a balance-transfer fee, we’ll deposit money in your account.

Plus, you’ll benefit from:

  • Low rates
  • No annual fees
  • Free Card Guard® mobile security
  • Free identity theft recovery
  • Much more

Apply today.

*Total cash return cannot exceed $300. Eligibility, terms & conditions apply. Offer valid through March 31, 2017. Incentive will be paid to member’s share savings account within three (3) calendar week of balance transfer. Not available on business accounts or balances transferred from existing America First loans. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Federally insured by NCUA/Equal Opportunity Lender.