Friday, August 15, 2014

We're one of America's Best!


75 years ago, in meeting at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, nine Los Angeles Sheriff Department employees met to draft the bylaws of a new credit union. First City Credit Union received its official charter on September 28, 1937 with less than $90 in deposits.  Today, we’ve grown into one of the nation’s leading credit unions!
  • 5-Star Ranked - For the 58th straight quarter by Bauer Financial Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating firm.
  • America’s Top 100 Credit Unions - In four separate categories by Bauer
  • Nation's Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions - Depositaccounts.com named First City to its 2014 list!  With over 6,500 credit unions in the United States,  First City ranked in the top 1.5 percentile!
  • Lowest Auto Loan Rates in SoCal - In a recent study, Gobanking.com identified First City among the 10 lowest auto loan rates available in Los Angeles! 
That's pretty awesome from where we first started. We owe it all to our loyal members and outstanding leadership. Thanks! 
 

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Visit our booth at the Los Angeles Sheriff Relief Association's Annual Family Social.
 
 Bring your friends and family!
 
 
Our booth will be in the main courtyard where we're raffling off a Free
39" HDTV!

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

 Do You Have Digital Eye Strain?



Most of you are doing the same thing we are, staring at a computer screen.  Obviously, you have to stare at one to see this post!  Have you thought about the effects on your eyes of exposure to computer screens for long periods of time?  Here we have an infographic that details what computer-related eye strain is, what causes it, and how to get relief.  We're certainly using this advice from now on, courtesy of Daily Infographic and Get Lenses, where you can see the graphic larger if you need to.    Enjoy what you see!

First City Credit Union wants to save your eyes

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Don’t Pay a High Rate for That Bank Credit Card!

Those Hidden Rates Are Just Bait

There are many credit cards available with great looking rates, cards that offer 0% percent introductory APRs*, dangling them like cherries in a tree to get your attention.  The promise of not having to pay for the money you borrow leads many into thinking that they will save major money.  The problem is, most people who get a credit card for the introductory rate find themselves stuck with a huge increase when the honeymoon is over. 

According to a survey of credit card rates by Cardhub.com, the average interest rate being paid by people with average credit scores is nearly 21%.  That’s 2.5% higher than last year, and according to the findings of the survey, is happening because the average cardholder doesn’t have as much choice when it comes to credit cards.  In other words, the banks are trying to lure you in with that 0% rate, then smack you with upwards of 21% rates while you aren’t looking.  The survey also notes that the average intro rate for 0% balance transfers last about 9 months, which is more than 3% shorter than last year.  Sounds like they’re trying to get you trapped even earlier. 

Another survey at Nerdwallet.com actually calculates the net interest on a card by taking into account the introductory rate plus any balance transfer fee and the ongoing APR.  By dividing that number by the number of years you might expect to hold the card, they arrive at what they call a “True Interest Cost”, which can give you a good idea of what you will expect to pay.  Using this method, the longer you have the card, the higher interest rate you pay.  This is precisely the situation the banks want you be unaware of.  Bring them in with low interest, and make up for it later.

What You Should Do About High-Interest Bank Credit Cards

Quite simply, go to your local credit union.  In an article for Credit Union Online, Gina Ragusa writes “Since credit union rates are capped at 18% and fees are competitively low, shopping for a card at your local credit union may be the most logical choice.”  In any case, beware of bank credit cards with 0% APR offerings.  You may be getting more than you bargained for.

*Annual Percentage Rate

Friday, July 11, 2014

Here's some great information to help you understand some of the more prevalent scams today...

Phishing, Pharming, Vishing and Smishing
 
Phishing
On the Internet, "phishing" refers to criminal activity that attempts to fraudulently obtain sensitive information. There are several ways a scam artist will try to obtain sensitive information such as your social security number, driver's license, credit card information, or bank account information. Sometimes a scam artist will first send you a benign email (think of this as the bait) to lure you into a conversation and then follow that up with a phishing email. At other times, the scam artist will just send one phishing email.

Here are some questions to ask if you think you have received a phishing attack:
  1. Do you know the sender of the email? If yes, still be cautious before clicking a link. If no, do not click any links.
  2. Are there any attachments in the email? If so, is the attachment an executable (a file with the extension .exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .reg, .msi, .pif, .pl, .php)? If so, do not click on the attachment. Even if the file does not contain one of the above mentioned extensions, be cautious about opening it. Contact the sender to verify its contents.
  3. Does the email request personal information? If so, do not reply.
  4. Does the email contain grammatical errors? If so, be suspicious.
  5. If you have a relationship with the company, are they addressing you by name?
  6. Have you checked the link? Mouse over the link and check the URL. Does it look legitimate or does it look like it will take you to a different Web site?
You can use these same questions if you receive a vishing or smishing attack.

Pharming

Pharming is another scam where a hacker installs malicious code on a personal computer or server. This code then redirects clicks you make on a Web site to another fraudulent Web site without your consent or knowledge. To avoid pharming, follow the basic computer safety guidelines in Protect Your Computer. Also, be careful when entering financial information on a Web site. Look for the key or lock symbol at the bottom of the browser. If the Web site looks different than when you last visited, be suspicious and don’t click unless you are absolutely certain the site is safe.

Vishing

Unfortunately, phishing emails are not the only way people can try to fool you into providing personal information in an effort to steal your identity or commit fraud. Criminals also use the phone to solicit your personal information. This telephone version of phishing is sometimes called vishing. Vishing relies on “social engineering” techniques to trick you into providing information that others can use to access and use your important accounts. People can also use this information to pretend to be you and open new lines of credit.
To avoid being fooled by a vishing attempt:
  • If you receive an email or phone call asking you to call and you suspect it might be a fraudulent request, look up the organization’s customer service number and call that number rather than the number provided in the solicitation email or phone call.
  • Forward the solicitation email to the customer service or security email address of the organization, asking whether the email is legitimate.
Though vishing and its relative, phishing, are troublesome crimes and sometimes hard to identify, there are things that you can do to protect your identity.

Smishing

Just like phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to lure consumers in. Often the text will contain an URL or phone number. The phone number often has an automated voice response system. And again just like phishing, the smishing message usually asks for your immediate attention.
In many cases, the smishing message will come from a "5000" number instead of displaying an actual phone number. This usually indicates the SMS message was sent via email to the cell phone, and not sent from another cell phone.
Do not respond to smishing messages.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Heartbleed Bug - Final Update,  4-28-2014:

There are no known data breaches or user compromises.
 
We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed an extensive assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. However, there are a number of ancillary services within your online banking experience that have not yet completed their assessment. We will be sure to keep you updated. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Important Notice:

Target Announces Card Data Breach


Thursday, December 19, 2013 - Target announced that as many as 40 million of its customers who used their credit and debit cards to make in-store purchases may have been affected by a data breach. Target says customers who made purchases using their credit or debit cards November 27th through December 15th may have had their names, card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes exposed.

If you used your First City credit or debit card at any Target between November 27th and December 15th, please follow these steps:

  1. Monitor your checking account purchases and pending credit card transactions - Watch for Suspicious Activity! This breach is said to have affected both credit and debit cardholders, as well as the checking account information of Target REDcard users.
  2. Contact us - If you suspect your account has been compromised, visit your nearest branch or call 800-944-2200.
  3. Check back for updates – We will provide more information as it is released - www.firstcitycu.org.