Don’t Rip It – Shred It!

August 31, 2007

Shredding Credit Card offers is better than ripping them up.  Tearing pre-approved credit card offers into a few pieces before disposing of them isn’t enough to protect you from identity thieves.

A consumer reporter for the NBC Today show tested what happens when consumers first rep card offers into a few piece’s, then piece them back together, fill them out, and submit them to card issuers.

Amazingly – FIVE out of eight attempts resulted in a card being issued!  Card issues have rules about accepting mangled submissions, but clearly some slip through.  Protect yourself in two ways:

–  Shred all pre-approved credit card offers before disposing them.  By shredding them, you are ensuring that they can not be completed and submitted.

–  Get a credit card that you are happy with, and shred all the others.

If you have any questions about credit card offers, and what to accept and what not to accept, visit a branch near you, or contact our Call Center at 393-1326, press ‘2’.

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New Security Threat

August 22, 2007

woman-computer-concerned.jpg

  New Computer Virus May Prompt Online Fraud Attempt

Please be on the look out for a new computer virus that may be on your computer.  This is not a vulnerability within the First OnLine or First New York systems.  This virus may cause a fraudulent screen to appear in the online Bill Payment window.  The screen posts messages that attempt to trick you into providing sensitive information such as your account numbers and passwords – information the bill payment system already knows and you should NOT provide again.

Be aware that any computer is prone to illegal viruses and regular scans are recommended.

As a reminder, if you are using online Bill Payment and a new screen appears out of context asking you to provide sensitive information, do not provide this information.

If you’re in doubt about the validity of a screen, please call First New York FCU Member Services at (518) 393-1326 or (800) 734-7375 – press ‘2’.


Off to college? Here are a few tips!

August 15, 2007

college student

As summer starts to wind down, parents start packing the kids up and sending them off to college.  If you are heading to school this fall, we have a few tips to avoid some common traps.

 One of the most important things to keep in mind is budgeting your money.  Maybe you’ve bankrolled a few bucks from a summer job, or you are picking up a job at school.  Keep in mind that budgeting your money is very important!  So have trouble sticking to a budget?  Don’t get discouraged.  Follow these simple tips to save some extra cash: 

–  Go easy with the credit cards.  Once you get in the habit of reaching for your credit card, it’s hard to stop.  If you don’t have the funds, don’t make the purchase!

–  Buy used.  There’s no need to buy all new textbooks.  New textbooks cost on average 25% more than used.  Unless it’s a book you know you’ll keep or it’s only available new, stick with used.

–  Spread out your expenses.  Most expenses come at the beginning of the semester–for example, instead of buying all your textbooks at once, buy them as you need them.

–  Brown bag your lunch.  Although it may not be as cool or exciting as eating at your favorite deli or pizza joint, packing your lunch can save on average $3 a day–or $60 a month.

  Be smart about choosing a financial institution.  Using First New York FCU will save you money on fees, lower loan rates, and higher savings rates.


Annual Credit Reports

August 9, 2007

 Why do I need to know what’s in my credit report?   What’s in your credit report is VERY important.  The information in your credit report has an impact on whether you are approved for credit (and at what interest rate), but also could have a bearing on job applications and insurance rates. 

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act) of 2003 was enacted to help consumers understand their credit rights, understand their credit reports, and help fight identity theft.

One of the main components of the FACT Act is the ability of consumers to receive a free credit report, on a yearly basis, from each of the national consumer credit reporting companies:  Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

You can order your Annual Credit Report by three different methods:

                        Annual Credit Report

                        Request Service

                        PO Box 105281

                        Atlanta GA 30348-5281

 

Because First New York FCU understands the need for members to be educated about their credit, and the potential pitfalls from have credit issues, even if you ordered your annual report, you can still get a free credit report from your credit union, throughout the year.  We can review it with you and recommend ways to improve your credit standing.  We are also here to help understand your credit report, and to help ensure that you have not been a victim of identity theft.

 

For your free credit report and analysis, visit any First New York branch office.