Security Update: Protecting yourself from Tax Time Scams

As tax season shifts into high gear, many criminals are also stepping up their efforts to rob you of your resources. These schemes & scams seek access to your information for fraudulent purposes. Additionally, people can seek to falsely collect amounts you might owe to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and pursue other tactics, such as:

· Citing IRS form 1099 as proof that individuals can access secret accounts the federal government maintains for every U.S. citizen

· Using false tax-preparing Web sites to secure filers’ personal data

· Pretending to be IRS agents with a phony badge number and name, telling individuals they owe the IRS money and must pay with a pre-loaded debit card or face charges

There are, however, steps you can take to protect yourself:

•Anyone who purports to be from the IRS and asks for your Social Security Number should be dismissed. The agency will only communicate with you through the mail on official letterhead. If you get one of these calls, hang up. If you see one of these emails, delete it

•Avoid phishing attempts, especially this time of year. Never reply to emails, texts or pop-up messages asking for your personal, tax, or financial information. Legitimate businesses don’t ask you for this through unsecured channels

•Never click on links when you don’t know and can’t verify the source.

•Be wary of doing your taxes online or conducting financial transactions over public Wi-Fi hotspots. These networks are often vulnerable to hacking

•And please visit us here to see how we’re working to safeguard your resources.

High 5 awarded to ‘DJ X’ who celebrates Saturday Night Fever every weekend in Sandy

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Nomination sent in by Shane Constable:

I roller skate. A lot. I recently found a rink in Sandy that every weekend honors this man. I have a video that will make you cry. This roller rink deserves a medal of something. The DJ and the management and the patrons are so amazing. Every Saturday night he becomes a disco Bee Gees rollerblading dance John Travolta star. Just watch my video.

This Segment is Sponsored By: America First Credit Union

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“Give Back” Honoree 1/26/16

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America First Credit Union is a leader in technology and is always working to make financial transactions easier. Their expansion with Apple Pay; Samsung Pay and Android Pay allows for members to pay at almost any location they swipe their card. They’re also opening a new location in Downtown Summerlin!

We are also honoring the first “Give Back” winner of the year, Linda Smith!”

This Segment is Sponsored By: America First Credit Union

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A Successful 2015 and a Bright Future Ahead

John Lund, President, America First Credit Union

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

Reflecting on the challenges, opportunities, and successes of 2015, I am truly grateful to be part of such an outstanding organization. Our volunteers and staff are dedicated to delivering service that is second to none, with the objective of improving the financial well-being of each member, family, and business choosing America First. I am pleased to report that your credit union remains safe, strong, and well-positioned for a bright and vibrant future.

We reached many milestones during 2015. America First surpassed $7 billion in assets and we are the financial home to more than 740,000 members. With over 6,200 credit unions across the country, we stand as the 12th largest in assets and the 7th largest in membership. While these are significant indicators, given the relatively small population in our market, I believe our growth and achievement reflect the fact that America First offers consistent, convenient, and lasting value.

More complete financial and performance reporting for 2015 will be detailed at the Annual Meeting in April. However, a few highlights for the year include:

• We opened new branches in Kaysville, Lehi, and Herriman, Utah; and in Henderson, Nevada

• Superior service scores & measurements were attained

• Consumer Reports rated America First among the best financial institutions in the U.S.

• We received the highest ranking possible from our regulator, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and a clean external audit report

• Our insurance, investment, and planning products were enhanced

Read More….

Security Update: Resolve to Protect yourself Electronically

National experts estimate that only eight percent of us kept our annual resolutions last year. However, there is one goal you can successfully achieve in 2016 and beyond — having a safe online presence.

Here are two simple & reliable steps you can take for higher virtual confidence:

Public Wi-Fi is indeed Public — Free public Wi-Fi is often where fraud perpetrators can pounce on your personal data once you connect to an open server. These networks aren’t secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your device. Vow to limit your activities on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging in to key sites.

Chores for your Digital Home — Almost 70 percent of American households have between one and five devices connected to the Internet — with 30 percent owning six or more. This certainly justifies simple but necessary routine maintenance. From updating software, to backing up valuable family photos and important documents, to keeping your machines clean and running efficiently, you can help ensure your family is safe.

And be sure to visit us here for additional information regarding how we’re providing you with enhanced security.

America First Credit Union Expands Mobile Payment Offerings with Android and Samsung Pay

Riverdale, Utah – Beginning today, America First Credit Union members can enjoy the benefits of a simple, secure and private way to pay with an America First Credit Union Visa card supporting Android and Samsung Pay.

“We continue to reiterate the importance of security and privacy as our utmost priority when it comes to our technological offerings for members,” said Rich Syme, executive vice president at America First Credit Union. “With the expansion of Android and Samsung Pay at America First, we’re opening up the opportunity for contactless payments for our member base, allowing them to pay for items with their mobile devices in a fast, easy and secure way.”

Samsung Pay is a unique and innovative mobile payment solution that allows members to pay at almost any terminal that they can swipe or tap their America First credit or debit cards.  In addition to Near Field Communication (NFC), which transmits a short-range wireless signal from the device to a merchant’s contactless payment terminal, Samsung Pay also utilizes Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST).  MST sends a magnetic signal from the device to the payment terminal’s card reader, emulating a physical card swipe.  Samsung’s ability to send both NFC and MST transmissions expands the number of terminals where members can use this exciting new service.

Read More….

America First Credit Union Rounds Out Growth in 2015 with Opening of Kaysville Branch Location

Riverdale, Utah America First Credit Union, a leading member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution, welcomes the public with the opening of its newest location at 1302 West 200 North, Kaysville, UT 84037. The Kaysville branch rounds out the growth for the credit union in 2015 as the 113th branch location servicing members in Utah and Southern Nevada.

Penny Butler is market manager of the Kaysville market and will serve as branch manager of the Kaysville location. Butler has more than 33 years of service with America First, with 17 years as a branch manager. She graduated from CUNA Management School in Madison Wisconsin School of Business and is a Certified Credit Union Executive.

Butler is a member of the Ogden-Weber and Davis County Chambers of Commerce, Women in Business and Business Alliance. She has worked as a volunteer for the Children’s Justice Center, Catholic Community Services’ Bridging the Gap as well as reading tutor for Pioneer and Odyssey Elementary Schools. She has initiated community events, including Books for Blakely, a donation drive to benefit the local homeless shelter, VA Donation Drive to benefit the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home and most recently supported Sweet Packs benefitting Utah children in foster care.  Butler lives in Roy, Utah with her husband. When not working, she enjoys music, singing, gardening, decorating and learning.

There will be a grand opening ribbon cutting held Monday, Dec. 14 with celebration events held Dec. 14 – 19.  The branch is located at 1302 West 200 North, Kaysville, UT 84037. Branch hours are Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

With a strong commitment to servicing its members, Kaysville rounds out a successful year of growth with the credit union as the fourth branch opening thus far in 2015.

For more information, visit www.americafirst.com, America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.

“Give Back” Honor 12/8/15

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America First Credit Union jumps right into community events and so can you! Their 40 for 40 Campaign wants to give four charities from Utah and Nevada $10,000, but needs your help to pick which ones it should go to! Go to their website and cast your vote before the year is up! Also, to finish up 2015, America First wants to congratulate their final Give Back winner this year!

 

This Segment is Sponsored By:America First Credit Union

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Seasonal Reflection Demonstrates Opportunity to Help Others

John Lund, President, America First Credit Union

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

I love the holidays. I take pleasure in the sights and sounds, the lights and aromas, the hustle and bustle, my friends and family. It may sound strange, but I actually enjoy winter and the challenge of a major snowstorm.

My reflections during this time of year bring about cherished feelings of peace, joy, and the comfort of a warm fireplace. Recently, I thought about my Grandma Lund. She was a very bright yet humble individual, who from the world’s perspective possessed little. To my knowledge, she never drove a car or traveled far from home.

My grandmother was a young lady when she and her family emigrated from Denmark to America. Over time, she learned English, but I will always remember her accent, something that fascinated me as a boy.

John's Grandmother

She married and became the mother of nine children, six boys and three girls. Her husband (the grandfather I never knew) unexpectedly passed away on Christmas Eve in 1941 at the young age of 47. Then widowed, she never re-married, worked hard, and raised a large family on her own. She was employed at a local laundry to help pay the bills. Of course, the older children pitched in, including my father.

Grandma Lund had more than her share of heartaches. She lost a young son when he drowned in the Ogden River during a high spring run-off. She spent days searching for him, until the body was finally located a considerable distance away. She lost another son during the D-Day invasion of World War II. Through all of her trials and disappointments, she remained hopeful, faithful, and devoted to her family. All of her surviving children grew to be outstanding individuals and raise beautiful families of their own.

Read More….

Security Update: Be Careful Online during the Holidays

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reminding consumers to remain vigilant when browsing or shopping online this time of year.

Officials note that the season presents numerous opportunities for criminals to commit fraud.

Some examples are electronic Christmas cards from unknown senders containing malicious software; fake ads or shipping notifications delivering viruses; and spoofed emails and posts on social networking sites requesting support for phony causes.

To avoid security lapses, please consider the following actions:

• Avoid following unsolicited links or attachments from sources with which you’re not familiar.

• Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site for scam alerts.

• Assess your passwords and consider making them stronger; never create a single phrase for more than one site.

• Always use common sense when downloading games, file-sharing tools, streaming clients, and other third-party apps.

For more information and additional updates regarding how your credit union is working to protect your resources, please click here.