Scams – Stimulus Checks
Unfortunately, there are scammers trying to take advantage of individuals during these challenging times. First Choice America is committed to serving you as we navigate these uncertain times together. We want to provide you with knowledge to help you protect yourself from becoming a victim.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT EVER provide your personal information (social security numbers, card numbers, expiration dates, passwords or usernames) in response to emails, calls or text messages. Even if it looks like it is a valid source, do not give them your personal information. First Choice America will never ask you to provide this information. Scammers have a way of “spoofing” telephone numbers or email addresses to make it appear as if they are coming from a financial institution or government agency.
You may be the target of a scam if you are receiving the following questions:
Have you been contacted by someone claiming to be from the IRS or FBI stating you must confirm information in order to receive your “stimulus payment”, If so DO NOT RESPOND.
Have you been contacted by someone alleging to be from your financial institution, informing you that your “stimulus payment” has been received but you need to verify information or sign into an online link provided by them? If so DO NOT RESPOND.
Have you been contacted by someone who has personal information about you (birthdate, address, mother’s maiden name, card number, social security number, etc.) and is asking you to provide additional information? If so, DO NOT RESPOND.
Have you been contacted by someone who claims they can get your “stimulus payment” faster, however, you will have to provide personal or financial information? If so, DO NOT RESPOND.
Scams come in many forms and via many avenues. Whether it is a phone call, text, email, or door to door person… DO NOT SHARE ANY PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION. The fraudster always wants you to provide personal or financial information to them, so DO NOT RESPOND.
Remember, First Choice America will never ask you for your personal information, unless you contact us by phone asking for a transaction.
If you believe your account at First Choice America has been compromised, please call us immediately at 304-748-8600 or 800-427-4835 during our normal business hours.
March 27, 2020
Making the Most Out of the Drive Thru
Here are some tips to make your drive thru service more efficient:
- Send your account card and identification in during each visit.
- Do not put rolled coins in the tubes, they may jam.
- Make sure your checks are signed.
- If you would like your cash back in a specific way, please tell us and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
- Speak loudly and clearly so we can help you.
- Please refrain from being on your cell phone.
- Your patience and understanding during this time is greatly appreciated.
March 23, 2020
To our valued members:
As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, First Choice America places the highest priority on the health and well-being of our employees, members, and communities in which we operate.
In order to support the on-going efforts of the various public health authorities and to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), First Choice America will be increasing safety precautions across our branch network by implementing “social distance banking” by modifying the operations of our branch network and emphasizing the use of our online and mobile banking services, 24-hour Transaction Line, Night Depositories, and our ATMs including thousands of surcharge-free options via the MoneyPass and AllianceOne Networks.
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020, we will be temporarily closing all office lobbies and limiting locations to drive-thru and ATM services only. Our drive-thru operating hours will remain unchanged and are available on our website.
Although office lobbies will close, the ATMs and Night Depositories at all offices will be available and operational. In addition, as our Medical Park Office lobby will close, the walk-up window will be available for teller transactions. Given the reduced branch traffic, we are experiencing during this time, we are confident that we can continue to effectively serve you should you need to visit.
In addition, all of our branch lobbies will be available to serve our members by scheduling appointments during normal operating hours for special services other than teller transactions such as: safety deposit box access; mortgage/home equity loan applications; and other services that require additional support. Please call our Call Center at 800-427-4835 or 304-748-8600 to set up a time at your local office and we will do everything we can to accommodate you within the current CDC Guidelines.
As we strive to keep our members and employees safe during these unprecedented times, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of our online and mobile banking services to access your account balance, view transactions, make transfers, bill payments, e-statements, and our many other services which are available to you 24/7. Further, our 24-Hour Transaction Line and Call Center are accessible for those members who may not have computer access. For more information regarding these services, please visit our website or contact our Call Center.
We have put in place enhanced cleaning procedures to increase the frequency in which we sanitize and disinfect our ATMs and drive-thru equipment, as well as our employees’ work areas and facilities.
As we have throughout our history, we will work with members who have been adversely impacted as a result of the Coronavirus and will work as your partner to provide solutions. Please call us to discuss your specific needs.
We certainly appreciate your understanding during these extraordinary times. These steps are necessary to protect the health and well-being of our members and employees.
Please keep in mind, the safest place for your money is inside a federally insured financial institution. In these troubling times, having significant sums of cash on hand might seem like a good idea; however, this can make you a target for theft. We will ensure that our members will have access to funds either directly or electronically and your funds are protected by the NCUA share insurance fund as long as they remain on deposit with First Choice. Also, First Choice America’s financial stability which includes our capital strength, asset quality, and management ability helps us maintain our enviable position as one of America’s elite credit unions.
While it is impossible for anyone to predict how this crisis will continue to unfold and its ongoing impact, it does not alter First Choice’s focus on continuing to serve you. Throughout our 81 year history, First Choice and our members have faced and survived many times of uncertainty. Although there will continue to be challenges ahead, we are confident that our commitment to our members, employees, and communities in which we live and operate, along with our safe and sound business practices, will continue to guide us. We truly value your membership and look forward to serving your financial needs for many years to come.
As this situation evolves, we will continue to comply with all Federal, State, and Local Authorities’ guidelines and directives and evaluate additional measures that may be required to support the health and safety of our members, employees, and communities and will advise as the need arises.
Scott E. Winwood
March 20, 2020
To our valued members and communities we serve:
Scam artists and hackers are always looking for situations to take advantage of individuals, including heightened concern around the coronavirus (COVID-19). It is important to always use caution with unsolicited communications particularly now.
- Remember it is important that you DO NOT provide personal financial information (i.e. social security numbers, card numbers, expiration dates, usernames and passwords) in response to emails, calls, or text messages. Fraudsters can “spoof” telephone numbers and email addresses to make them appear as though they are coming from trusted sources, such as credit unions, banks or government agencies.
- First Choice America will never ask for this information unless you contact us in person or by phone requesting a financial transaction.
- You may receive calls, texts, or emails soliciting money for a variety of fake opportunities (e.g. charities, selling bogus products, etc.) and presenting links that appear to be real but take you to a fraudulent website. Tips on staying safe and a list of current scams are available from the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
- If you believe that your account at First Choice America has been improperly accessed, please call us immediately at 1-800-427-4835 during our regular business hours
March 13, 2020
To our valued members:
As always, First Choice America is committed to the health and well-being of our members, staff, and communities in which we operate. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and our thoughts are with those who have been impacted. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are committed to being responsive to the needs of our members and staff as this situation continues to evolve.
During this time, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of our online and mobile banking services to access your account balance, view transactions, make transfers, bill payments, e-statements and our many other services which are available to you 24/7. In addition, our 24-hour transaction line and Call Center are accessible for members who may not have computer access. For more information regarding these services, please visit our website, a branch or contact our Call Center.
As a reminder, our members can utilize night depositories and ATMs at each of our eight locations. At this time, our lobbies are available to serve you and the majority of our locations offer drive-thru services.
While it is impossible for anyone to predict the spread of the coronavirus and fully understand its potential impact, it does not alter First Choice’s focus on continuing to serve you. Throughout our 81 year history, First Choice and our members have faced and survived many times of uncertainty. Although there will continue to be challenges ahead, we are confident that our commitment to our members, staff and communities that we serve, along with our safe and sound business practices, will continue to guide us. We truly value your membership and look forward to serving your financial needs for many years to come.
As this situation continues to develop, we will evaluate additional measures to support our members, staff, and communities as needs arise.