Heritage Club News: July-August

Heritage Club News: July-August

We have a number of fun events and educational opportunities for First International Bank & Trust Heritage Club members. Learn more in the July/August 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. 

Gretchen's Corner

I work with the most amazing co-workers. Each day, I am met with happy smiles along with “Good Morning” from the best people anyone could ask for in a work setting. We share good news on baby arrivals, weddings and family celebrations. We lift each other up when sorrows run deep; lifting up the co-worker just like family. We are a day-time family, spending 8–9 or more hours a day together.

This past March, our son, Erik and his wife Jessica moved to Arizona. Erik will be working in our Arizona banks; Jess is a Physical Therapist and is working for a clinic. During their move and drive from Fargo, North Dakota, they asked Steve and I to watch over their new Golden Retriever puppy, Walter.

Walter is a friendly, happy go lucky, sweet “Grand dog.” He loves to play, fetch balls and toys and run all over! Walter and our kitty, Odin Tucker (Odie) get along extremely well. Both are about the same age of one year old. 

Read more about the mischief Walter and Odie cause!

What's Happening Now

Introducing New Checking Accounts!

We invite you to stop by your local branch to visit with your favorite banker over a cup of coffee and cookie to discuss our new checking accounts. Once you’ve had a chance to learn all about your options and choose an account that best fits for you, it’s easy to make the transition.

Each of the three new accounts have unique features 
and benefits.

As members of Heritage Club, there are special “You’ve Earned It” perks on one account. Other accounts provide the opportunity to earn rewards and/or premium interest rates. One of our bankers would be happy to visit with you in greater detail.

Have peace of mind – these things will not change: 

  • Your account number will remain the same - Direct payments and/or deposits will not be interrupted
  • You may continue using your existing debit card(s) 
  • You may continue using the same supply of checks you have today
  • Your existing Heritage Club membership benefits will remain the same

Sometime between now and this fall, all of our customers will be asked to choose one of our new accounts and convert their existing account. We want to make this process as easy as possible and look forward to having the opportunity to visit with you.

Heritage Club Highlights

Fargo-Moorhead - Join us for the "Greatest Show in the West" and more!
Harvey - Treats in the lobby and a summer picnic in August.
KilldeerJoin us for our annual steak dinner in August!
Fessenden - An ice cream social in July, a picnic in August and much more!
MinotJoin us for the "Greatest Show in the West" and our annual picnic.
WillistonSupport our Relay for Life team with Rootbeer Floats in July. 
Watford City  - A fun outdoor lunch at JL Beers and Ribfest in August. 
Staples/Motley - Customer Appreciation and Railroad Days are all happening in August.

Featured Recipe

Ella's Bread Pudding

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!

Holiday Fraud Trends

Holiday Fraud Trends

This year is expected to be one of the highest online shopping years ever. With the ease of being able to shop at home on your couch, consumers are realizing there is no need to face busy crowds and wait in long lines when you can order virtually every gift online.

With this in mind, here is what you need to be cautious of:

  • Click Here Emails: Be careful with emails that state you are being given a holiday
    gift or free gift from a popular merchant – similar to the one on the right. Beware of the ‘Click Here’ catch.
  • Amazon Email Scam: Be cautious of emails you receive from Amazon that say your account is about to expire and your account will be de-activated if you don’t follow the provided steps.
  • Bargain Shopper: If you are a bargain shopper, make sure to check online for reviews on Google or the Better Business Bureau. Type in the seller’s name/business with “scam” and see if it checks out.
  • Gift Cards: If you are purchasing gift cards for that hard to buy person, make sure to check the back of the card to verify that the area with the protective scratch-off hasn’t been tampered with.
  • Charity Giving: The holidays bring out the warm side of people and the desire to spread holiday cheer. If you decide to donate to a charity, make sure it’s one that you are familiar with. Research before donating.

When shopping online, you can follow these steps:

  • Only provide card or account details on secure websites when checking out. Look for the padlock symbol (see example on the right).padlock
  • Use PayPal to check out, if possible.
  • Always keep your device’s security software up-to-date.
  • Check account statements and report any suspicious transactions immediately.

Happy holidays and safe shopping!

Cyber Security: Threats, Prevention & Education

Cyber Security: Threats, Prevention & Education

Stop. Think. Connect.

Did you know that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)? This is a month to raise awareness about protecting yourself against security threats, and staying safer and more secure online. Take this opportunity to raise awareness by educating yourself, your family and your friends.

Current Threats

As cyber security threats continue to grow in quantity and sophistication, it is critical that we remain educated on the latest attack methods and scams. Recent threats include social engineering, impersonating calls, email phishing and ransomware.

Impersonating calls are becoming more common and have included fraudsters pretending to be the IRS, the lottery saying you have won, the authorities saying they have a warrant for your arrest, or even vendor who have ‘detected’ a threat on your PC. If you receive a call, Stop, Think and Take Action. These sources would never call you regarding this information, how would they have known your phone number, and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Never visit a website as instructed over the phone, and don’t let them access your computer.

Email phishing themes can include invoices, past due messages and even an announcement of a tragic event, such as the death of a loved one.

Ransomware is when the files on your PC or mobile device are encrypted and held for ransom. Avoid ransomware by being proactive; patch all software on your devices as updates are available, remain on current operating systems and practice safe web browsing and email processing habits.

Prevention Steps

Taking preventive steps will help to protect your personal devices and information.

  • Patch your PC and mobile device Operating Systems
  • Patch all software on your PC and remain on current versions
  • Utilize anti-virus and make sure it is current
  • Practice safe web browsing habits
  • Create backups of sensitive information in order to avoid loss due to ransomware.
  • Use unique passwords on various websites:
    • Unique: Use different passwords between systems. A compromise of one system doesn’t place access to another at risk
    • Strong: Avoid dictionary words which are easily guessed or cracked. “Fall2016” is a very weak password!
    • Long: Long passwords are harder to guess and crack

Having layers of protection helps to protect your systems. Stop, think and consider your actions on a mobile device. Consider, do you have the same security controls as you have in place on your PC?

Educate Family

We often allow children to utilize our devices. This may place the devices at risk. The Internet can be a dangerous place for children. Learn how to protect them! Enable web browsing protection (https://www.us-cert.gov/publications/securing-your-web-browser) and talk to your children about the dangers of the internet (https://safeandsecureonline.org/parents-guardians/).

Additional Resources

Live First Community Grant: WINNERS!

FIB&T recently completed its 2nd Annual Live First Community Grant campaign and we were thrilled to see all of the great initiatives going on in the communities in which we live and work. We announced our winners, paid them a visit and are excited to share a little more about their organizations.


Grand Prize

GiGis Check Pic 2

GiGi's Playhouse

About GiGi’s Playhouse:

GiGi’s Playhouse is the first Down syndrome achievement center in North Dakota! They reach families not only in Fargo-Moorhead, but across the region. Serving children and adults of all ages with Down syndrome, GiGi’s Playhouse offers educational, social and therapeutic programs at no cost to families. All programs aim to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals to achieve their greatest potential. Helping children and adults at GiGi’s Playhouse extends beyond the Down syndrome diagnosis – their global message is acceptance. They believe in a kinder and more accepting world for everyone. GiGi’s Playhouse continues to celebrate the many achievements of their participants, develop new programs to benefit participants, and work tirelessly to change society’s outdated perceptions about the amazing potential of individuals with Down Syndrome.




About Special Olympics:

Special Olympics North Dakota (SOND) provides sport and physical fitness training and athletic competitions to more than 1,500 athletes throughout North Dakota in 15 Olympics-type sports. The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. Special Olympics plans to use the $500 from the Live First Community Grant towards their upcoming event in Minot, the State Basketball Tournament. Special Olympics North Dakota does not charge its participant or their family members a fee to participate in its programming or events, including the State Basketball Tournament.

Youthworks Check

About Youthworks:

Youthworks is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing youth and family services throughout North Dakota since 1986. At Youthworks, they provide support services to youth and their families to meet goals for strong, healthy relationships. Their offices are located in Bismarck and Fargo and they serve the surrounding counties. Youthworks focus and expertise is working with at-risk and homeless youth as well as parents and young adults under 22 years old. The “We’ve Got You Covered” campaign is a community initiative that encourages collaboration among agencies, organizations and companies. It is a way for the community to actively take part in a campaign to improve the lives of area young people.

Fan Favorites

Fargo Public Schools Foundation

About Fargo Public Schools Foundation:

The Critical Needs Program is organized by the Fargo Public Schools Foundation to ensure that each and every student who needs help with basic needs receives support. Contributions to the Critical Needs Program helps individual schools who serve low-income families identify students most in need. All 23 schools in the Fargo Public School district have students who qualify for the free or reduced meal plan. This means that many families are struggling to make ends meet. In the past year, 15 of the 23 schools had an increased number of students become eligible for free and reduced meals. Currently over 3,000 students need financial assistance of some kind.


About Minot Park District:

The Oak Park Amphitheater was completed in September of 2015. On September 19th, they celebrated the completion of the Oak Park Amphitheater with their first Live at Oak Park with North Dakota’s very own Tigirlily. They had over 700 members of the Minot Community join them for a great evening of entertainment. As they look forward to the summer of 2016, they are excited for more Live at Oak Park events. The amphitheater is a great addition not only to Oak Park but the entire Minot community. By hosting free events to the public, they hope to provide entertainment for people of all ages. It is a great cultural opportunity to bring in musical artists as well as visual artists from local to statewide. Minot has a broad base of artistic talent and they hope to showcase that with the Oak Park Amphitheater.


About 4 Luv of Dog Rescue:

4 Luv of Dog Rescue is an independent dog rescue in Fargo, ND devoted to rescuing and rehoming dogs. Their rescue does not believe in breed discrimination and welcomes all breeds of dogs. Additionally, they do not discriminate based on the age or medical condition of the dog. The dogs they have available for adoption are all wonderful, loving dogs who deserve a second chance at life and love. There are many expenses incurred in caring for these dogs (pound pull fees, boarding fees, vaccinations, spay/neuter, vetting, dog food, transportation, adoption/volunteer advertising). They rely on adoption fees, fundraisers, and donations to cover their expenses. It is not uncommon for a dog’s adoption fee to be less than the expenses incurred while caring for the dog. They will use the grant to continue to have an impact on the lives of dogs.

Apply for the 2nd Annual Live First Community Grant!

Apply for the 2nd Annual Live First Community Grant!

First International Bank & Trust is excited to celebrate the season of giving in the communities we serve with the 2nd Annual Live First Community Grant. We invite all of our customers and community members to apply for the $3,000 grant which can be put towards a project or cause that makes a difference in their community.

In addition to a $3,000 grant, we will be giving away three $500 grants to the applicants with the most votes from our Facebook fans.


Minot Volunteers

The great news? Many of our customers and community members are already actively involved with causes that could qualify for the Live First Community Grant. Last year’s applicants included:

  • Cats Cradle Shelter
  • Minot Park District
  • 4 Luv of Dog Rescue
  • Gigi’s Playhouse
  • Starbright Foundation
  • …and many more!
Applying is Easy!

Here’s what you’ll need to apply: An idea for a project or event! How would you use a $3,000 grant to benefit your community? You’ll need to tell us:

  • A name for your project. This is the part people will see when they vote, so make sure it’s catchy and descriptive.
  • How the project will help your community. Be specific!
  • Who will benefit.
  • Organizations that would be part of your project (for example, a 4H chapter, a high school club or your local animal shelter).
  • Budget breakdown of how you would use the $3,000 (and how you would pay for any costs beyond $3,000).
  • The date(s) and location of where your project would take place.
  • A photo that represents your project. This can be anything that captures the spirit of your idea. People will see the photo when they go to vote.

Best of luck to all applicants – we can’t wait to see your ideas! Applications close at 11:59 p.m. CST on December 31, 2015 – so get started now!

How Winners are Chosen

Our team at First International Bank & Trust will choose one project that we feel makes the largest impact on their community. Even if your project isn’t awarded the $3,000 grant, you still have another chance to win. We’re awarding three runner-up grants for $500 each to the projects that get the most votes from our Facebook fans!

Voting for the three runner-up grants will open on January 1, 2016 at 12:00 a.m. CST and will close on January 15, 2016 at 11:59 a.m. CST.


One of the 2014 winners, the Starbright Foundation in Gilbert, AZ.

Applicants – Please come back to the page during voting period and share your entry any time you want to remind your friends to vote. Just click View entries, find your own entry and then Share.

First International Bank & Trust, Member FDIC, EHL