Help Center – First Bank https://localfirstbank.com North and South Carolina Community Bank Sun, 09 Dec 2018 06:51:43 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Equifax Breach: FAQs and Resources https://localfirstbank.com/article/equifax-breach-faqs-and-resources/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 17:45:18 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=10289

This month, the personal information of millions of Americans—including Social Security numbers, addresses, and in some cases, credit card numbers—were stolen when Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, had its systems compromised by hackers.

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud now and in the future. Below, you’ll find a FAQ provided by the American Bankers Association and links to helpful articles from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.

Equifax Breach FAQs

I’ve been hearing about the Equifax breach in the news. What happened?

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, experienced a massive data breach. The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. They also stole credit card numbers for about 209,000 people and dispute documents with personal identifying information for about 182,000 people.

Was my information stolen?

If you have a credit report, there’s a good chance it was. Go to a special website set up by Equifax to find out. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Potential Impact,” enter some personal information and the site will tell you if you’ve been affected. Be sure you’re on a secure network (not public wi-fi) when you submit sensitive data over the internet.

How can I protect myself?

  • Enroll in Equifax’s services. Equifax is offering one year of free credit monitoring and other services, whether or not your information was exposed. You can sign up at https://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/.
  • Monitor your credit reports. In addition, you can order a free copy of your credit report from all three of the credit reporting agencies at annualcreditreport.com. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit bureaus once per year.
  • Monitor your bank accounts. We also encourage you to monitor your financial accounts regularly for fraudulent transactions. Use online and mobile banking to keep a close eye on your accounts.
  • Watch out for scams related to the breach. Do not trust e-mails that appear to come from Equifax regarding the breach. Attackers are likely to take advantage of the situation and craft sophisticated phishing e-mails.

Should I place a credit freeze on my files?

Before deciding to place a credit freeze on your accounts, consider your personal situation. If you might be applying for credit soon or think you might need quick credit in an emergency, it might be better to simply place a fraud alert on your files with the three major credit bureaus. A fraud alert puts a red flag on your credit report which requires businesses to take additional steps, such as contacting you by phone before opening a new account.

How do I contact the three major credit bureaus to place a freeze on my files?

Equifax: Call 800-349-9960 or visit its website.
Experian: Call 888-397-3742 or visit its website.
TransUnion: Call 888-909-8872 or visit its website.

Where can I get more information about the Equifax breach?

You can learn more directly from Equifax. You can also learn more by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s webpage on the breach. To learn more about how to protect yourself after a breach, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/Info-Lost-or-Stolen.

Additional Resources

In addition to the sites listed above, you can review the following articles for more tips:

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Hold That Line: Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud https://localfirstbank.com/article/stop-phone-credit-card-fraud/ Fri, 26 May 2017 19:24:14 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=9830

Your phone rings. It’s an unfamiliar number, but you only glanced at the caller ID before picking up the call. The voice at the other end says your credit card may have been compromised; they can even provide the last four digits on the card.

It’s a scary situation, and one that’s all too familiar. To figure out the best next steps to take in this situation, we asked the skilled team of fraud detection experts in the BankCard department for some help.

First, take a deep breath. Fraudsters hope you’ll be so overwhelmed by what they are telling you that you’ll inadvertently share the details that allows them to hack your card.

Second, no matter how legitimate the call may seem, it’s important that you don’t give out any personal information on calls you didn’t initiate. Personal information includes the following:

  • Your credit or debit card number
  • Your bank account or Social Security numbers
  • Log in information for any online banking tool used for managing your finances

If you think there’s a possibility that it is First Bank’s BankCard or Customer Service team, you can ask if you can return the call by using the main customer service number located on the back of your debit or credit card or the one on your credit card billing statement.

Third, don’t return calls from numbers left on your answering machine or sent in an email unless you can verify that it is First Bank’s real phone number.

And lastly, it’s always a good idea to make sure First Bank has your current information updated (email and cell phone). That way we can contact you directly if we identify a fraudulent transaction.

Unfortunately, fraudsters constantly revise their schemes. Each time we catch on to one scam, another variation or an entirely new one pops up. No matter what they say, remember to be calm, patient and persistent. And if you are tempted by an agent to provide additional account information, simply hang up and call First Bank directly.

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How Your Healthy-Eating Resolution Saves Calories and Money https://localfirstbank.com/article/how-your-healthy-eating-resolution-saves-calories-and-money/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 15:25:59 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=9438

To get tips on mindful eating and spending, we talked with Jessica Thiefels, a full-time blogger and ACE Certified Personal Trainer, as well as an NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition specialist and the owner of her own personal training business, Honest Body Fitness in San Diego.

Here we are February 2017. So I’ve got to ask, how are your resolutions holding up?

If you made a resolution to eat healthier this year and need a boost to keep going, get excited because it turns out you’ll save a lot more than a few extra calories.

You Eat Out Less Often

The top expense for most people is eating out. In fact, 2014 data reveals the average American spends $232 per month eating food prepared outside the house.

When eating healthy, however, a restaurant is the worst place to be. With no idea of how much salt, butter, dairy, and oil goes into a dish, you could be eating double or triple the amount of fat you should have in one day.

You soon come to realize that eating in is not only less stressful because you control the ingredients and portions, but that it’s saving you hundreds of dollars a month.

Planned Eating Cuts Down on Food Expenses

When eating healthy, it’s important to plan your meals and snacks in advance so that when your 3 pm craving rolls around, you can reach into your trusty stash of almonds nearby to avoid hunting for sweets instead.

This healthy eating strategy helps you save at the grocery store. When you know what you need, you can buy just that.

All too often we buy more than is necessary and end up tossing it. This is a nationwide problem, with 40% of food in the United States going uneaten. This means we throw away the equivalent of $165 billion dollars each year, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

By planning your healthy meals for the week, you waste less and save more.

Vegetables Are Versatile

Vegetables are not only some of the cheapest items in the grocery store, but they can be used in so many ways. Save money and time by buying them when they’re fresh and freezing some for future meals, or by simply buying them frozen to begin with.

“Frozen vegetables are a lifesaver and can be extremely versatile for any entree. Aside from sautéed or mixed into a stir fry, veggies can also be a great accompaniment to any grain-based dish or bowl…or baked/broiled in the oven for that roasted flavor,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, and LDN in North Carolina who runs of bucketlisttummy.

Next time you need vegetables for a quick meal, you can reach into the freezer instead of spending more money. No waste and less spending equal money savings.

 Lean White Meat is Cheaper Than Dark Meat

Eating healthy requires you to reconsider your regular meat choices. While everything is good in moderation, healthy eaters should be regularly choosing lean, white meats like chicken and turkey, rather than steak or ham.

Luckily, this ends up saving your arteries and your bank account.

A recent turkey pricing analysis found that turkey and chicken are actually two of the cheapest meats available, with frozen turkey costing just $1.62 per pound and chicken at $3.12, versus ground beef at $3.66 and pork chops at $3.76. Not to mention, turkey and chicken can be cooked in a variety of ways, whether you’re making soup, burgers, meatballs or sandwiches.

You Take Less Sick Days

Eating healthy allows your body to more effectively ward off sickness.

“Diets that are high in bad fats seem to suppress our immune systems. And lackluster immune systems mean we’re constantly vulnerable to infections and sickness,” says Mike Kamo, of Nutrition Secrets.

If you’ve already used your allotted sick days, this can end up cutting into your paycheck. By eating healthier, you decrease your chances of calling out sick, and therefore save the money you would have otherwise lost by staying home.

Eating healthier is a great resolution for any time of the year. Not only do you feel better about yourself but you also end up saving money in the process.

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Tips for a Fun and Safe Spring Break in 2016 https://localfirstbank.com/article/tips-for-a-fun-and-safe-spring-break-in-2016/ Tue, 12 Apr 2016 14:35:41 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=5071

Spring break is one of the most popular travel times of the year and travel experts are already noticing some trends for 2016. According to Bill Sutherland, AAA’s Senior Vice President of Travel and Publishing, “travelers are seeking warm weather destinations this spring as they look to escape the cold.”

Tiffany Wright, spokesperson for the AAA Carolinas, points to the popularity of Universal Studios Orlando, Walt Disney World and Carnival Cruises as the top bookings for spring. For European travel, she says, “Italy continues to be the most sought-after destination.”

According to Eileen Ogintz of TakingtheKids.com, “The biggest [spring break] trend is multigenerational trips with grandparents.” She also says that more families are searching for rental homes and condos which let them spread out and prepare their own meals.

If you too are dreaming of warm, sunny places, here are the ways to enjoy each moment and stay safe.

Driving

Gas prices are at a 10-year low and many families will be driving this spring break. Before taking a road trip, it is smart to let a mechanic check your car. Wright offers the following safety tips for families in the car:

  • Install car seats properly
  • Make sure children stay buckled up at all times
  • If you need to unbuckle your child, pull over
  • Have toys secured in a bag that is in a safe and accessible
  • Plan ahead for stretching and bathroom breaks

Wright also says, “Most people are inclined to travel at night because kids are sleeping. However, your body has a natural time to sleep, from 12 am to 6 am and noon to 3 pm, depending on your work schedule. Travel as if you are going to work, when you are more apt to be alert. Also, when people are awake in the car, it helps the driver stay awake.”

Protecting Your Home

Securely shut and lock all doors and windows before leaving. Turn on a lamp or put one on a timer.

Ask a trusted neighbor to get your mail and newspapers and check on your house. Limit sharing about your vacation on social media; the fewer people that know you are away, the better.

Keeping Kids Safe

In public places, always accompany children. Dress kids in bright colors and take photos of them daily to identify them more easily.

Plan ahead and instruct your children to find a uniformed attendant, law enforcement officer or security guard if they become lost. Set a designated meeting place in case family members get separated.

If older children wish to be on their own, make sure they stay together.

Sun Exposure

Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 on all exposed body parts and wait 15 minutes before going into the sun. Stay out of the sun during the hottest portions of the day.

Sunburns can happen on cloudy days, so if you are outdoors, use sunscreen. Wear UV rated sunglasses to protect everyone’s eyes.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has specific recommendations for children:

  • Keep infants out of direct sunlight
  • In addition to applying sunscreen, dress babies in loose clothing that covers the extremities and head
  • Young children and adolescents should use a children’s waterproof sunscreen
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming

Water Safety

To stay safe in the water, swim only within designated areas. If a lifeguard is on duty, stay where they can see you. Always swim with a buddy.

Take extra care with young children, keeping them close and never leaving them unattended, even for a few moments. When boating, everyone should wear life vests, even strong swimmers.

Hydration

Whether your family visits a theme park, a city or the beach, staying hydrated is important, especially in the sun. Drink lots of non-carbonated, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages to prevent dehydration.

Food and Drink

If traveling outside the US, only drink beverages from sealed containers. Also, eat only foods that are freshly cooked and served hot. Before consuming produce, wash it thoroughly.

Safety While Traveling Abroad

Check the U.S. State Department’s website for travel alerts and health updates. With the Zika virus in the news, Ogintz says, “Be careful of insect bites. No one wants to get sick on or after vacation. If you are going somewhere there is Zika, follow CDC guidelines.”

And of course, keep a close eye on belongings—passports, money, credit cards, luggage— while abroad.

Enjoying Spring Break

By following these suggestions, you and your family can have a safer, more worry-free spring vacation.

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Is Mobile Banking Safe? https://localfirstbank.com/article/is-mobile-banking-safe/ Wed, 04 Nov 2015 16:09:03 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=4728

Americans love their smart phones.

The reasons for their adoration are seemingly endless. They Facebook. They text. They Google. They listen to music and watch movies. They take photos and video. They GPS their way to new destinations.

And increasingly, they bank.

An estimated 87 percent of Americans now own mobile phones, and 71 percent of those devices are Internet-enabled smart phones, up from 61 percent last year, according to the Federal Reserve’s Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report released earlier this year.

The report found that 39 percent of mobile phone users with bank accounts had used mobile banking in the past year, up from 33 percent in 2013 and 29 percent in 2012.

Of those not using mobile banking, the primary reason survey respondents cited, at 86 percent, was a belief that their banking needs were being met without the use of mobile banking.

But the next most common reason cited, at 62 percent, was concerns over security. Banking experts say that’s an obstacle they’re confident they can overcome.

Tested and Secure Technology

First Bank has offered customers a mobile banking app since 2008, but it wasn’t until January of 2015 that the app underwent a significant upgrade, adding increasingly popular features such as mobile check deposit and mobile bill pay, says Hunter Young, First Bank’s Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing and Digital Banking.

Unlike larger regional and national banks, who are constantly adding “shiny” new app features in an effort to draw new customers, smaller community banks like First Bank are more “pragmatic,” Young says.

“We wait until the technology is more proven,” explains Young. “It doesn’t take much longer, maybe one to two years. They’re moving a bit too quickly for security and a good customer experience.”

Consumers who are new to mobile banking might not realize that banking through an app is more secure than through a web browser, says Cary Whaley, vice president of payments and technology policy at the Washington-based Independent Community Bankers of America.

The vast majority of fraud involves credit/debit cards and checks, rather than from mobile apps, Whaley said. With a mobile app, the bank knows with whom it’s dealing. The app typically cannot be accessed without a password or challenge question, and with a growing number of devices, biometrics such as a fingerprint.

“That’s pretty powerful security,” Whaley said. “We would call that 2-factor authentication.”

First Bank mobile app users should know they can trust they’ll be protected from fraud, says Will Ferrer, a senior vice president at Austin, Texas-based Q2 Holdings, the software firm that developed and hosts First Bank’s app.

Q2 has invested $10 million over the past three years in data center infrastructure, and the company is hosting First Bank’s app at data centers that meet the highest standards for performance and security, Furrer says. Those facilities are highly regulated and heavily secured.

“This app is hosted in two Level 4 data centers that are run by a publicly traded company that provides digital banking services for over 360 banks and credit unions around the country,” Ferrer said. “We have over 5.7 million users of our mobile apps, so security and performance obviously are paramount to us as we’re serving banks like First Bank. We know how important security is and continual investment is what banking customers appreciate and respect.”

 

Ready to get started with mobile banking? Download the app today.

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Funds Transfer https://localfirstbank.com/article/funds-transfer/ Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:10:44 +0000 https://localfirstbank.com/?post_type=article&p=4638

First Bank’s Digital Banking solutions help you bank the way you want to, where you want to, on the devices you want to use.

Watch this video to learn how to transfer funds between your accounts.

Video Transcript

Transferring funds is simple with First Bank Digital Banking.

Once you’ve logged into your account, look for the main menu on the left side of the screen and click the “Funds Transfer” link.

On the Funds Transfer page, you need to select the accounts that you’d like to transfer money to and from. For example, you may want to move funds from your Checking to your Savings account.

Select your payment type, the amount, and delivery date. You can also add a memo.

If you’d like to make this a recurring transaction, check the box to the right of the amount. You’ll then need to select how often this transfer should repeat. There are plenty of options including weekly, monthly, and first of the month.

You’ll also need to determine how long you would like this transaction to repeat. Select a start and end date, or check the box below to let it repeat forever.

When you’re ready, click the Transfer Funds button. It’s that easy!

After clicking Transfer Funds, you will see the confirmation screen with your transaction details. Click “Close” to return to Digital Banking or click “View in Activity Center” for more information.

The Activity Center allows you to review your transaction details. Click the Actions button to quickly copy or cancel your transaction.

Access the Activity Center at any time by clicking Services in the Main Menu and then clicking the Activity Center link.

For more information, visit our Help Center at localfirstbank.com/help.

To get started with online banking, enroll here.

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