Tuesday, December 30, 2008

$1,500 Scholarship available for Student-Members

A $1,500 Scholarship is available from North Alabama Educators Credit Union. Applicants for the scholarship must be members of the credit union. Keep in mind though that all students in Madison, Morgan, and Limestone counties are eligible for membership in North Alabama Educators Credit Union. If students have not established an account somewhere yet, now would be a great time to do so.

The scholarship application is available on our web site or can be obtained at any office location. Here is a direct link to the News & Tips page that has the application and information available for printing; http://www.naecu.org/newsandtips.html

The deadline for submitting all scholarship applications is April 1, 2009. They can be postmarked by that date as well. Good luck to all applicants!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Donations to CASA

The Credit Union has donated 100 space heaters to the local CASA (Care Assurance System for the Aging and homebound) organization. WAFF-48 TV ran a story in November about CASA's needs for space heaters to assist the elderly and homebound citizens in our community. The Board of Directors for North Alabama Educators Credit Union had already been discussing community assistance when the WAFF-48 story aired, so the timing was perfect for our participation. The Director of the local CASA group, Ann Anderson, was contacted about their needs following the news story. Space heaters and food vouchers were the two priority needs of CASA at that time.

Melissa Gray with the North Parkway Lowe's store was very helpful in comparing the various space heaters available. Melissa provided a greatly reduced price to North Alabama Educators Credit Union for the cost of the space heaters, which allowed for additional heaters to be purchased. Lowes should be commended for their assistance in this project.

In addition to the 100 space heaters, North Alabama Educators Credit Union will be donating 50 $25.00 gift cards from Kroger to CASA.

The Credit Union has experienced a good year financially and we were pleased to assist the community with these CASA donations. Credit unions were initially created on the concept of people helping people and these donations reinforce that philosophy.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Latest Debit/Credit Card Scam Alert


With the holiday season approaching, shoppers increasingly use their credit and debit cards to make purchases at the mall, on the Internet, or over the telephone. When plastic card use increases this time of year, so do the scams.

A new twist on phishing aims to obtain the three-digit security code printed on the back of VISA and MasterCard credit and debit cards. The phishers are trying to get enough information to perform fraudulent card-not-present transactions (Internet, telephone, and mail-order purchases).

Under this scam, a telephone call is placed to a legitimate cardholder. The caller claims to be a representative from VISA or MasterCard informing the cardholder of suspicious card activity. The caller provides details of an unusual transaction and asks if the cardholder made this purchase, which, of course, the cardholder did not. The cardholder is then asked to verify possession of the card. To do so, the cardholder is asked to read the three-digit security code on the back of the card. The fraudster then provides a control number in the event the cardholder needs to call back with questions, making the call seem legitimate.

The caller does not ask for the credit or debit card number, and that is why some members are fooled into believing the call is legitimate. But the fraudster already has the card number; what they don’t have is the three-digit security code from the back of the card, and that is what they are after with this scam.

The three-digit code on the back of the Visa or MasterCard card is a security tool used for non face-to-face transactions. When conducting transactions that are not face-to-face, many merchants will ask the shopper for the three-digit code to complete a card authorization. If the criminal obtains this three-digit number and already has your member’s card number, card expiration date, and billing address, the criminal may be able to obtain authorization for fraudulent transactions. It is critical to educate your members on all plastic-card security measures, including the use and purpose of the three-digit code on the back of the card. They should never give that code to anyone who may contact them by telephone, Internet, or mail. This security tool is used when a card-not-present transaction is performed, and during the transaction the merchant may ask for the code to complete the authorization process.

Each new scam presents an opportunity to educate your membership: Never respond to any e-mail, telephone call, voice message, text message, or letter received through the mail that requests personal and financial information, including the three-digit number on the back of the card.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Savings Options to Consider

In an effort to promote better savings by the membership of North Alabama Educators Credit Union, there are two savings options available that currently pay higher rates. Our Christmas Club Account and 9-Month Certificate of Deposit offer attractive rates. The Christmas Club Account offers a Prospective Rate of 1.50% Annual Percentage Yield, considerably higher than the basic savings account rate. December might not be the easiest month to start a Christmas Club saving account but why not plan on doing so in January? Setting aside money each pay period for a Christmas Club account is a great way to prepare yourself financially for the following Christmas.

Our 9-Month Certificate of Deposit currently offers a rate of 3.45% Annual Percentage Yield when compounded. This rate is higher than the 1-Year Certificate and matches the same rate offered on the 27-Month Certificate. A Mini-Jumbo rate bump of 0.15 is also available on individual certificate balances of $50,000 or more.

For a current listing of Savings/CD Rates available, click the link, http://www.naecu.org/rates/savingsrates.html .