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First Flight Awards Three Area High Schools

This week, First Flight Federal Credit Union presented three North Carolina high schools their awards as part of the Financial Fitness Challenge hosted by the credit union.  Bethel Christian Academy in Kinston, NC won the first place prize of $10,000.  New Bern High School’s ‘Bazinga’ team took the second place spot winning $2,500 for the school and New Bern High School’s ‘Green Bears’ team came in third place winning $1,000! 

First Flight launched the 2nd Annual Financial Fitness Challenge to North Carolina High Schools on September 1, 2015 giving high school teams that registered to participate an opportunity to win $10,000 for their school. The purpose of the challenge was to get high school students thinking about real world financial or economic challenges and the roles that they can have in combatting these issues in their very own communities.

Teams of high school students submitted public awareness campaigns about a variety of subjects ranging from financial ethics to the financial benefits of green energy.  The teams worked together to help educate a specific group or to solve a problem in their classroom or community.  First Flight representatives viewed each of the submitted projects and assigned points based upon the established criteria and how well each team’s completed presentations met the challenge requirements. 

The First Place team, Bethel Christian Academy, focused on the importance of ethics in the financial world today.  The team utilized an internal target audience of the school’s Student Leadership Institute, which is comprised of a group of students that set themselves apart in several key areas.  The team from Bethel Christian Academy stated, “as future leaders in their communities, the members of SLI (Student Leadership Institute) should be educated on and made aware of the importance of ethics in the financial world and the consequences of unethical behavior.” The Bethel Christian Academy team used informative narratives and humorous thought provoking skits to educate the established target group.  At the conclusion of the skits, the team presented each student of SLI (Student Leadership Institute) with a pledge to uphold financial ethics, always considering the consequences of any decisions, while striving to exhibit honest behavior and character in all areas. 

 “Each of the high school teams did a wonderful job”, stated Greg Williams, Chairperson of First Flight’s Board of Directors.   “The presentations were creative, effective, and used various communication methods including videos, skits, and collateral.”  “First Flight was pleased to award each of the schools for their outstanding efforts to increase financial awareness.  First Flight feels strongly that educating our youth about financial and economic issues will assist them both personally and professionally for years to come,” Williams stated. 


FFFCU receives 5-Star Rating

Cary, NC- First Flight Federal Credit Union has received a Superior 5 Star-Rating from BauerFinancial.  This rating serves as First Flight's twenty-second consecutive quarter of inclusion on the BauerFinancial Recommended Report while receiving an Excellent or Superior Rating.  Based on the five-star scale, a credit union must earn either a five-star or four-star rating to be added to their Recommended Credit Union Report.

BauerFinancial is an online source for unbiased, independent bank and credit union ratings. No financial institution pays for its ratings, nor can they choose to be excluded from being rated.  BauerFinancial has earned the reputation of "the nation's bank rating service" after more than thirty years analyzing and reporting on the financial conditions of the nation's banking industry.  BauerFinancial obtains the detailed financial reports that each financial institution submits to their federal regulators on a quarterly basis.  Upon review of these financial reports, a star-rating is assigned based on a scale of zero to five stars with five stars being the strongest.  First Flight earned its most recent Superior 5-Star Rating from BauerFinancial based on Bauer's in-depth analysis of the credit union's financial performance compared with historical data for consistency. 

First Flight is a full-service financial institution that is committed to providing its members with unparalleled tools, products and services while operating well above regulatory capital requirements.  Doug Troskey, CFO/COO stated, "It is an honor to continue to receive a superior rating form BauerFinancial.  For over 60 years, we have hold steadfast to our mission to provide quality financial services while maintaining the safety and soundness of the credit union for our members."

First Flight invites you to explore this website for more information about our competitive products and services and to learn how a financial relationship with First Flight can significantly change the outcome of your financial future and equip you to become your own financial champion!

A copy of First Flight's Financial Report and Analysis along with a Summary Report assigning the 5 Star-Rating can be found on BauerFinancial's website at www.bauerfinancial.com  

Chip-Enable Debit Cards- Coming Soon

Chip-enabled debit cards, also referred to as "chip", "smart" or "EMV" cards are embedded with a microprocessor on the front and the traditional magnetic stripe on the back that enhances the level of security in the event of a data breach.  This chip technology is already used in over 130 countries around the world and will become the standard in the U.S. as the number of merchants accepting chip cards continues to grow.

First Flight debit cardholders will be receiving new First Flight debit cards with the enhanced card technology within the coming months.

How can the enhanced technology protect against fraud? 

The mini computerized chip embedded on the card uses a dynamic card verification value that changes with each transaction.  This will help prevent fraudsters from being able to perform a subsequent card authorization. It still remains important to protect the card number against potentially unauthorized activity as well as to ensure the card remains in the possession of the cardholder at all times.

Using the new Chip-Enabled Debit Card

There will be a slight difference when conducting a point-of-sale transaction at merchants with chip-enabled technology.  Rather than swiping your card using the magnetic stripe, you will insert your card into a card reading device located below the PIN pad on the merchant's card payment device where the card will remain until the transaction is approved. More information about using the new chip-enabled card will be provided when the card is received.

Important information about receiving a new Chip-Enabled Debit Card 

There's no need to request a new First Flight debit card to replace your current card.  All cards on your account will automatically be reissued as a new First Flight chip card and sent in the mail in the coming months.  Until you receive your new card you may continue to safely use your current card.  Cards with a magnetic stripe will continue to work on chip-enabled terminals found on merchants' card payment devices.  For more information or questions about this new chip-enabled card technology please call (800.807.0766) or email (support@eFirstFlight.com).

Stagefright Android Text Message Vulnerability

Many reports about the Stagefright vulnerability have been shared recently in the news.  Stagefright is vulnerable to a remote code execution bug, allowing hackers to potentially infiltrate devices and access private information by sending a SMS message to your Android phone with a video in it.

If you use an Android device, as a security best practice, we recommend that you temporarily disable automatic downloading of media files sent via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS).  Disabling MMS will prevent media files from being automatically downloaded on your device which will partially mitigate this vulnerability ahead of the official patch release. 

If you have questions about the availability of a patch for your specific device or disabling MMS, you should contact your carrier.

Alert: Tax Return Scams

Scams take many different paths, but in all cases the purpose of the fraudulent attempt is to steal your money and/or your identity . In the case of tax scams, usually an individual sends out a phone call or email presenting themselves as an employee of the IRS or your state's tax authority under the guise of wanting to "help" with your tax filing. In more cases than not, this type of tax scam involves an unsolicited, bogus email regarding your tax refund or bill, or threatening an audit if you do not pay. These tax fraud emails also typically include the tax service's name and official seal, and often link to a phony website in order to appear to be more official.

Be wary of ANY emails or phone calls you receive from someone claiming to be an employee of the IRS or State, especially those that demand you pay immediately, as the Internal Revenue Service and your state's tax authority will NEVER :
  • Initiate contact with you by phone, email, text, or through social media outlets to ask for your personal or financial information.
  • Require that you pay your taxes with a certain payment type, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Call you and demand immediate payment. The IRS or State will not call about taxes you owe without first mailing you a bill.
If you receive an email about your federal or state taxes:
  • Don't reply to the message.
  • Don't give out your personal or financial information.
  • Forward the email to phishing@irs.gov and then delete the email.
  • Don't open any attachments or click on any links, as they may contain a malicious code or virus that will infect your computer.
  • Check the website of your state's tax return office to see how they recommend you report an attempted scam involving your state tax filing.
If you receive a call about your federal or state taxes:
  • Ask for a contact number and an employee badge number and then call back to verify its legitimacy.
  • Call the IRS or the office of your state's tax authority to inquire further.
  • Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Use TIGTA's IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting web page to report the incident.
  • Report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission through the FTC Complaint Assistant on their website (add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your report).

Heartbleed Bug Notice

Security researchers recently announced the Heartbleed Bug, a vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. The bug poses a threat to the security of certain Internet applications and servers. However, First Flight’s initial research does not indicate any vulnerabilities in our online banking system. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and communicate any updates as they become available. 

Target Compromise Update

On December 19, 2013, Target announced a security breach that resulted in unauthorized access to payment card data.  On January 10, 2014, Target announced as part of its ongoing investigation, it has learned that additional customer information was taken during the recent breach.  The additional data removed from Target's systems may include customer name, mailing address, phone number and email address for up to 70 million individuals.  First Flight is committed to protecting our members' accounts and we encourage you to monitor your accounts and notify us of any suspicious activity.  Please refer to these frequently asked questions and answers for additional information pertaining to the breach-  Target Breach QA


Counterfeit Official Check Advisory

Please be advised that counterfeit official checks appearing to be drawn on First Flight FCU are being presented nationwide in connection with an employment scam.   Counterfeit official check scams are on the rise across the financial institution industry and First Flight encourages you to proceed with caution when accepting checks from someone you do not know.  As always, you may call us at 800-807-0766 to verify the validity of an official check before depositing.  



Microsoft XP Notification

Microsoft will discontinue providing updates to Windows XP on April 8, 2014. These updates include important security patches that protect your computer from vulnerabilities that may be exploited by malware or viruses.  In order to remain protected Microsoft recommends that you upgrade your operating system to a newer version. If you continue to use Windows XP after April 8th, your computer will still work but you will become vulnerable to security risks. If your computer becomes compromised, hackers could obtain access to your personal information including, but not limited to, access to your accounts at First Flight FCU and other financial institutions, email accounts, and social media accounts.
Microsoft will continue to support Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If you need help determining which Windows operating system you are running- click here.  For additional information about how to upgrade your computer if you are running Windows XP- click here.


Apple Security Update

Apple has released a critical security update to address a potential vulnerability and security patch for its Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod devices.  Apple has recommended that users of these devices immediately take steps to reduce security risk by updating to the latest version of their devices operation system.  The update is available for iOS7, iOS6, and OSX desktop platforms can be found under "Software Update" in general settings.  The security of our online and mobile banking offerings continues to be a top priority.  We are monitoring the situation and will inform you if updates become available. 



Routing #: 2531 7538 4

Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency. Equal Housing Lender Verified by VISA