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By: First International Bank & Trust
Recently, Equifax, one of the three national consumer credit reporting agencies, announced a major data breach. This breach affects approximately 143 million Americans. This is what we know according to Equifax: the data breach occurred May – July 2017, and the information stolen includes consumers’ personally identifiable information, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. Approximately 209,000 credit card numbers and dispute documents with personally identifiable information for approximately 182,000 consumers were also stolen. There is no evidence of unauthorized access to consumers’ credit reporting databases.
To be clear, First International Bank & Trust was not compromised and your information was not stolen from our bank. However, First International Bank & Trust takes the security of our customer information very seriously, and we are providing you with the information we know about this massive breach and the steps you can take to protect your personally identifiable information if you so desire.
Following this unprecedented breach, we are also asking our customers to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity in your accounts to First International Bank & Trust by calling 800-359-8092 or emailing ReportFraud@firstintlbank.com
Equifax has established a website that informs consumers if they may be affected by the breach, provides additional information on the breach, and offers complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring. This information is available at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.
To protect your identity and personal information, First International Bank & Trust strongly encourages our customers to take the actions noted below.
If you believe you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement office and/or your state attorney general. Finally, you may also want to consider reviewing information about recovering from identity theft, which is available from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.identitytheft.gov/ or by calling 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). The FTC also offers general information to protect your online presence at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/privacy-identity-online-security.
*Please note you may be charged access or data usage fees by your internet/mobile device provider based on your plan.
We have a number of fun events and educational opportunities for First International Bank & Trust Heritage Club members. Learn more in the September/October newsletter issue here.
Curious about Heritage Club and the benefits of being a member? Stop by and visit your local banker or visit our website to learn more.
Family vacations! I love going on a vacation; in fact, it is one of the fondest memories of my childhood. I am sure you and your families perhaps did the same as my parents which was “load up the car, grab the kids and head off for an adventure!”
I loved trips with my parents and siblings. My parents, Bill & May, would take our family across America in our station wagon (pretty fancy if the station wagon had wood trim side panels!).
My dad was often the driver while my mom mapped out our trip on a regular fold out paper map. It seemed we would start our vacation on an early Monday morning: lunches packed for the road, suitcases filled, coffee in a thermos to keep my dad awake and a few toys to keep me, along with my brother and sister, entertained.
Our family took summer road trips to Seattle, Washington DC, New York City and Denver to name a few places. We drove on interstates, along with toll roads where you needed money to take the faster, better roads. We stopped at rest areas to enjoy packed lunches and we saw famous monuments along the way. Each experience opened my eyes to sites beyond Minnesota and taught me the thrill of travel. I really don’t know how my parents did it for two weeks in a car locked up with three children! A few of the trips, my Aunt and Uncle, or a family friend would join us too. All aspects must have been “challenging”—bathroom stops, new motels each night, tired kids sitting for long periods of time and kids that needed to get out and walk around. I think that’s why my Dad ALWAYS drove the car; my mom was the entertainment chairman of the car.
Read more about Gretchen's latest family vacation!
Did you know that one of the largest areas of Internet security risk is personal information? Your same, address, bank details, shopping preferences and even information shared on social media sites can be used for identify theft and fraud.
The good news is you don’t need in-depth knowledge of computers or the Internet to keep you and your information safe.
Only share personal and bank related information with people you know and trust! This information should only be shared over the phone when you are absolutely certain who you are speaking with.
When you visit www.firstintlbank.com, you will know the website is secure because a little padlock will be beside the website name and the website will start with https://.
Beware of email. First International Bank & Trust will never contact you via email asking for personal information. If you receive a mysterious email from a bank or other individual asking for your financial or other private, personal information, be skeptical and do not provide it via email.
Emails and text messages are like sending a postcard, always assume someone else could be reading them.
If a website or email has spelling and grammar errors, or looks like it may be an imitation - this should be a warning bell. It would be in your best interest to pick up the phone and confirm any source you feel uncertain about.
Feel free to say “no” and trust your instincts. Exploiters and abusers often are very skilled. They can be charming in their efforts to convince you to give up information and control of your finances. If something doesn’t feel right, it may not be and you have a right to say “no.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Sometimes low vision, a hearing impairment, or physical limitation keeps us from doing the things we want to do – including finance management. Our friends at Assistive are here to help! They help people find Assistive Technology solutions that will give you greater peace of mind and confidence:
Elgin - Treats will be served in the bank lobby in celebration of the 1st day of Autumn!
Fargo-Moorhead - Please mark your calendars for dessert and coffee time!
Harvey - Come in and register for a Fall Gift Basket during the month of September!
Killdeer - Stop in and sign up for a $50 Gift Certificate to the new Killdeer Pharmacy, a one
month membership to the Killdeer Pool and Fitness Center, and a pair of tickets to the Hilltop Heritage Foundation 29th Annual Steak Fry.
Fessenden - Join us for coffee and treats in the lobby for social security day!
Minot - Check out the Bank of Scandinavia presented by First International Bank & Trust September 27–30!
Williston - Come join us at for Halloween treats!
Watford City - We will be hosting a golf scramble in September!
Staples/Motley - Come join us for cookies on Halloween!
We would love to feature your recipe in the next edition of our Heritage Club newsletter. Submit your favorite recipe by email or mail (3001 25th St. S, Fargo, ND 58103 - Attn: Marketing). Be sure to add a note about what makes the recipe special!
The September issue of Prairie Business names and honors thThe September issue of Prairie Business names and honors the 50 Best Places to Work in the northern Plains. Earlier this year, area employees nominated companies by submitting an anonymous employee-satisfaction survey, and Prairie Business used the survey results in selecting the 50 Best. The survey sought input on each employer’s benefits, workplace culture and employee morale, among other factors. And employees responded. Prairie Business received more than 1,000 nominations from employees from around the region, said Tom Dennis, Prairie Business editor.
"We are honored and humbled to be nominated by our employees to be one of the 50 Best Places to Work,” said Peter Stenehjem, President at First International Bank & Trust. “Our family is so thankful for our employees who take great care of our customers and help dreams come true each and every day."
All 50 Best winners are honored in the September issue of Prairie Business magazine, which is also available on the web at www.prairiebusinessmagazine.com.
When faced with the decision on whether or not to buy a home, there is no clear answer which one is better. There are three things that every person should consider when determining which route to go: location, financial situation, and the long-term and short-term benefits and downfalls of each.
In making the choice between renting and buying, one of the most important aspects is location. Buying a home in a major metropolitan city, like San Diego or New York City, will be a significantly more expensive investment than buying a home in the suburbs or in a rural town. Regardless of whether a person is buying or renting, shoppers can expect to pay more per square foot in certain locations in addition to a higher cost of living. Do research online to compare costs of living by region or city ahead of time, so you can feel confident in your decision and financial planning.
Speaking of the cost, it is especially important for each person involved to consider his or her financial situation when deciding whether or not to buy a home. Renting is typically less expensive than owning a home on a month-to-month basis. However, homeowners can reap some benefits that renters aren’t entitled to. Although it could take anywhere from 10 to 30 years, at some point, homeowners will be mortgage-free. Homeowners also have the option to leverage the equity in their home to take out a home equity loan or line of credit. This could be especially useful when wanting to make renovations to potentially increase the home’s value or pay for a child’s education or for use in financial emergencies.
Aside from the benefits and downfalls already discussed, some consider one of the biggest advantages to owning a home is being able to customize and upgrade the home to follow personal tastes and trends and cater to unique needs. On the other hand, one of the biggest benefits to renting is the ability to call the landlord when something goes wrong. Many renters like the peace of mind, knowing that the landlord is typically financially responsible for any issues that arise on the home.
The choice between buying and renting is never easy. Take the time you need to consider your options and engage the help of trusted advisors along the way. Should any questions arise in regard to the benefits of homeownership, we invite you to to contact one of our mortgage loan officers today.
Hey, Kids! Want an exclusive pass to see all of your favorite North Dakota sports teams in action?
Join the Jr. Champions today for a behind-the-scenes look into how North Dakota student-athletes become part of championship teams! As a member, you will have the opportunity to meet players and coaches and attend exclusive events that are only available to Jr. Champions members.
Who can be a Jr. Champions member?
Membership is open to all kids ages 2 or older, in eighth grade or under, and it's completely free to join! You must rejoin Jr. Champions every year to renew your membership and receive a NEW t-shirt and other fun stuff!
How do I register?
Starting August 1st, you will be able to register in-person at any First International Bank & Trust location in North Dakota during normal business hours, or sign up at select Fighting Hawks athletic events during the Fall and Winter sports seasons.
What does my membership include?
Captain of the Game
Want to have an all-access tour of the locker room, have your name announced at the game, or even take the field, ice or court with your favorite Fighting Hawks athletes? Only Jr. Champions members have the opportunity to be selected as Captain of the Game. When you sign-up, remember to check the sports you are interested in being the Captain for. Captains are selected at random.
First International Bank & Trust Jr. Champion in the Community
Parents, does your Jr. Champion help out the neighbors, volunteer at school, or do community service? Then nominate them to be the First International Bank & Trust Jr. Champion in the Community! First International Bank & Trust and North Dakota Athletics want to recognize the hard work your child is doing in the community by featuring them on the video board at a North Dakota Hockey game. To nominate your child, click here.
If you have any questions, please contact Lance Moser, University of North Dakota’s Assistant Director of Marketing, at email@example.com or 701-777-6953.
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