Friday, August 19, 2011

ATM Security Considerations

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) users should be aware that several security threats are taking place in the north Alabama area. Multiple robberies have taken place at Huntsville ATM locations where the customer was using an ATM at night. A criminal is approaching people as they are using the ATM and either taking their cash at that time or requiring the victim to withdraw funds to give to them. The common theme is that the crimes are occurring at night when the cover of darkness is allowing the criminal to remain unseen until the robbery takes place.

ATM users are cautioned to be very alert to their surroundings when using ATM's. Avoid ATM transactions at night if at all possible, especially at more remote locations where traffic or other patrons are not very visible to the ATM. Do not count your cash at the ATM itself - move away from the ATM and wait until you are safely in your vehicle away from the machine. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands money, comply with demands and do not do anything that might provoke the criminal. If you have a debit card, remember that you can receive "cash back" at a merchant point of sale which would be safer than a late night ATM transaction.

Another ATM security threat is where criminals are watching people use ATM's from a short distance and viewing the ATM PIN used for the transaction. If the ATM user leaves the ATM and does not clear out the menu option of "do you want to perform another transaction" or something similar, the thief can go to that same ATM and enter the victim's PIN (that they just saw used) and perform a cash withdrawal from the victim's account. Video surveillance at several ATM locations in Huntsville have recorded a criminal stealing money in this fashion. Please note that ATM's of North Alabama Educators Credit Union do require that the card be swiped again before a new transaction can be performed. ATM menu's vary though so be sure that all menu options are cancelled out before leaving an ATM that has been utilized. This type of ATM fraud also reinforces the importance of paying attention to the surroundings when using an ATM.

Criminals are out there in our area looking for victims. Be smart. Be safe.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Service Highlight : CO-OP Surcharge Free ATM's

Credit unions do a really good job of working with other credit unions. The credit union philosophy of "people helping people" extends between credit unions as well. The CO-OP Surcharge Free ATM Network is an excellent example of credit unions working together for the common good of credit union members in general.

Basically, the CO-OP ATM Network is a collection of credit unions throughout the country that allow participating credit unions to access their ATM's without a surcharge fee. There are other ATM's within the network, like Publix Grocery Store ATM's, that are also surcharge free but the bulk of the ATM's are owned by credit unions.

There are currently over 28,000 ATM's nationwide where members of North Alabama Educators Credit Union can withdraw cash without a surcharge fee or internal fee. Totally free to the member. In the Tennessee Valley area, most Redstone Credit Union ATM's and Publix Grocery Store ATM's are surcharge free. Always look for the CO-OP Network Logo (shown above) on the ATM. You should also not have to click "yes" to a surcharge fee at the terminal if the ATM is part of the CO-OP Network.

Locating a surcharge free ATM can be done in several ways. Members can locate a CO-OP Surcharge Free ATM through an online ATM locator, iPhone Application, Text Messaging, or GPS. Below is a direct link to the ATM Locator page for the CO-OP ATM network. This CO-OP link is posted on our credit union home page as well.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

School Supply Loans - 0.00% APR

North Alabama Educators Credit Union is once again offering School Supply Loans where qualified members can borrow up to $500.00 at a 0.00% Annual Percentage Rate.* These loans are paid back over a maximum term of 10 months on payroll deduction. A small processing fee does exist on these loans. If you need to borrow money, this is one of the best deals you will find.

These School Supply Loans have been very popular over the years to teachers and parents in assisting with their school expenses. Frankly the loans can be used for any worthwhile reason. We have had members to use these loans to pay off costly payday lenders and check cashing loans.

The first three days that this loan was available this year (started July 11th) the credit union provided over $52,000 in School Supply Loans to our members. Availability of this loan will continue through September 30th.

This School Supply Loan is another excellent example of the value of credit union membership in North Alabama Educators Credit Union. You will not find this type of loan offer with the large traditional banking institutions. Credit union membership does have its privileges.

*We are an Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. Qualifications must be met on all loans. Rates and loan availability are subject to change without notice. Your loan interest rate will be determined by your credit worthiness as well as other factors, such as the length of your loan.