Data Security: How American 1 is Looking Out for You

As data breaches at merchants continue to permeate the news, we want you to know that American 1 Credit Union is ready to help if your personal or financial data is ever compromised. We take service to our members seriously and will do everything we can to ensure that action is taken – quickly – to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity or account theft.

Your credit union is subject to strong data security standards established by Congress and federal regulators. While data breaches can happen anywhere, we are ready with a plan designed to ensure the safety and confidentiality of your sensitive data.

Unfortunately, merchants and retailers aren’t subject to these federal requirements. Many of them follow their own data security standards, but, as the crush of data breaches over the last couple of years has shown, these self-imposed merchant standards are no substitute for a stronger federal standard. When it comes to protecting your personal information, every measure counts.

When your debit or credit card data is breached at a merchant, the cost of card replacement or account reimbursement to you is typically paid by your credit union and not the retailer where the breach occurred. Unfortunately, this can become a very expensive proposition for the credit union, as we are often never reimbursed for these costs by merchants—as there is no liability requirement on them to pay for data breaches that occur on their watch.

We want you to know that in the event of any breach affecting your accounts, this credit union will always do what we can to make you whole. In the meantime, credit unions around the country are leading the effort to get Congress to pass legislation ensuring merchants and retailers meet a national standard for protecting any of your financial data they collect when you make a purchase and are held liable for breaches that occur on their end. We hope you will support us in this effort.

While we can’t control what happens at merchants and retailers, we want you to know that American 1 will do everything we can to assist you and your family if a breach does occur when you use your debit or credit card. You can always feel free to reach our member service department at 888-213-2848.

Important Information About the Recent Anthem Breach

Below is a letter from from Ken Dallafior, executive vice president, Commercial Business, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan:

Thank you for your patience while we have been working around-the-clock with Anthem to get more information about the recent cyber-attack on Anthem’s database. I wanted to provide you with the most up-to-date information to help you answer questions you are receiving.

We’ve learned that information for some members of your group may have been in the Anthem database, and I want you to know what we’re doing to help your members.

I’m sending you:

  • A copy of a letter that we will be sending to your affected members’ households starting on Friday and through next week. While Anthem is in the process of mailing official notices to all affected members nationally, we are sending a courtesy letter to affected BCBSM and Blue Care Network members’ households to advise them of the situation and inform them that they can enroll in free credit monitoring and also can find information about accessing identity theft repair by visiting or calling 1-877-263-7995.

Also, Anthem is offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft repair to BCBSM or BCN members whose personal information could be affected if they live — or traveled to and received health services — in one of the 14 states where Anthem operates. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Your employees or members who might be affected can visit to start the process to enroll in free credit and identity theft monitoring from Anthem. Members can go to the site and verify they are a current or former member (from 2004 on) of a Blue Cross plan and request a redemption code.

Going online is strongly encouraged, but those who do not have access to the Internet can call Anthem’s established toll-free information number, 1-877-263-7995, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Saturday, to ask for assistance to begin the enrollment process for credit monitoring.

Those who might be affected do not have to wait to receive a letter in the mail. They can go directly to the website or call the toll-free line.

Our security practices

In light of the Anthem incident, our customers have been understandably inquiring about our own security practices. Be assured that we take careful precautions to protect our customers’ personal information from unauthorized access. We have heightened our vigilance and are working closely with external security partners as additional support when testing our applications and infrastructure.

I hope you find this helpful. As Anthem provides us with more information, including any additional potentially impacted members, we will certainly send it to you.

If you would like further information, please contact your account manager and/or agent.


Ken Dallafior
Executive Vice President, Commercial Business

American 1 Credit Union Offers $15,000 in Scholarships

Jackson, MI – American 1 Credit Union is pleased to offer 15 scholarships valued at $1,000 each to high school seniors in Michigan through the annual Community Involvement Scholarship Program.

Each student who applies for the scholarship will submit an essay, in 1,500 words or less, on the benefits of altruism and how the student has impacted his or her community through their involvement. Scholarships are funded through American 1’s Skip-a-Pay program, where credit union members can choose to skip one month’s loan payment for $25. That $25 funds the scholarship program.

Scholarship applications are available online at, under the Events tab, and then selecting Giving Back.  The application deadline is Friday, February 20th 2015.


Email applications to:

(.doc, .docx, or .pdf files only)

Home Depot Breach

Recently it was brought to our attention that Home Depot may have experienced a breach in their card processing data. This means that some cardholder information could be at risk for fraud, but it does not mean that any fraudulent activity has actually occurred or will occur.

We want you to be protected and comfortable using your card. In fact, your card with us comes with zero liability*, which means you are not responsible for fraudulent purchases made with your card. In addition, we assure that each transaction you perform on your card account is monitored to identify unusual activity.

Home Depot also recently announced free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, for anyone who had used their card at any of their locations from April 2014 on.

You can read more about the breach and sign up for identity protection on Home Depots website,

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to get in contact with our local branch.

*As long as noticed fraud is reported promptly to the credit union.

American 1 CU Wins Governor’s Service Award

Jackson, MI – American 1 Credit Union was selected as the 2014 Corporate Community Leader as part of the Michigan Governor’s Service awards. The awards were presented on Monday, June 30th during a ceremony at the Gem Theatre in Detroit.
The Governor’s Service Awards honor exemplary volunteer service by individuals, organizations and a business. The Corporate Community Leader award honors businesses that demonstrate excellent corporate citizenship by giving back to their community through corporate volunteer programs, monetary contributions, in-kind gifts, and employee-driven volunteer service.
In 2013, American 1 donations and sponsorships to the community totaled more than $100,000 between corporate donations and employee fundraising contributions. American 1 hosts 12 annual events for the public, with the income from booth fees and concessions going to local non-profits. American 1 offers a scholarship program for high school seniors where credit union members donate $25 to the program to skip one month’s loan payment; in 2013, 15 $1,000 scholarships were awarded to local students.
On American 1 Credit Union receiving the recognition, Kristi Edgar, Vice President of Marketing said “We’re thrilled and honored to be recognized by the Governor with the award for Corporate Community Leader. Being a member-owned, local financial institution it’s the mission of ourboard of directors and the entire American 1 team to give back to the communities we serve.
We’re proud to be Michigan and show it through our free community events, volunteerism, and donations. It’s because of the continued support from our loyal membership though, that we’ve been fortunate enough to fulfill our commitment to the community.”
American 1 Credit Union serves over 50,000 members through 13 branches in 7 counties.
Based in Jackson, American 1 is proud to be Michigan, hosting more than 10 free, familyfriendly events every year in the areas we serve. We strive to give back and to be a truly, local financial option for our communities. Visit our website at for more information.

Fifteen Michigan graduates win $1,000 scholarships

JACKSON, MI – American 1 Credit Union awarded 15 high school graduates from southern Michigan with $1,000 scholarships for their commitment to altruism and community service.

The 2014 American 1 Community Involvement Award winners were:

• Jacob Shields of Rives Junction
• Carlie Connolly of Brooklyn
• Caitlin Kolevar of Jackson
• Nicholas Chames of Jackson
• Devan Potts-Rollins of Jackson
• Paul Wozniak of Chelsea
• Erinjen Lin of Dexter
• Zealand Smith of Chelsea
• Branden Bisher of Hillsdale
• Ashley Ladd of Bellvue
• Stephanie George of Battle Creek
• Milan Morrissette of Springfield
• Lance McDougal of Southfield
• Jonathan Moy of West Bloomfield Twp
• Lea Peuterbaugh of Petersburg

All of the students were highly involved in both extra-curricular activities and in their communities while in high school. Each wrote a 1,500-word-or-less essay on the benefits of altruism and how they improved their community through service.

American 1 has rewarded deserving and community-minded high school seniors with $1,000 scholarships since 2000. Scholarships are funded through American 1’s skip-a-pay program, which allows members to skip one month’s loan payment for a donation of $25.

Jackson Co. Sheriff to receive donation of AEDs valued at $30,000

Jackson, MI – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will receive 15 brand new Automated External Defibrillators for patrol cars and the marine division, thanks to a donation from American 1 Credit Union.

Communities across Michigan have been dealing with budget constraints and Jackson County is no different. Seeing a need, and wanting to help the community, American 1 Credit Union reached out to Sheriff Steven Rand about donating the new devices.

At one time deputies carried AEDs, but they became obsolete after the manufacturer stopped supporting the devices and they exceeded their useful life. It has been nearly 4 years since

Jackson County Sheriff’s patrol cars last carried the devices. Often times deputies are the first responders in emergency situations and having AEDs can save lives. All departmental staff are already trained in CPR and the deployment of AEDs, and the new devices will be compatible with JCA Paramedics equipment.

On the donation Sheriff Steven Rand said “On behalf of Jackson County I want to express my deepest appreciation to American 1 for their generosity. These life-saving devices will undoubtedly be an asset to Jackson County residents. We are grateful to have such a great community partner as American 1 Credit Union.”

American 1 Credit Union has strong ties with Jackson County and by donating the AEDs to then sheriff’s office it strengthens those bonds, and makes our communities safer. David Puckett,

American 1 President & CEO said “I hope this encourages other institutions to step up and give back to their communities. We serve our members and our communities, and this donation only reinforces our commitment to Jackson County.”

American 1 Credit Union serves over 50,000 members through 13 branches in 7 counties.

Based in Jackson, American 1 is proud to be Michigan, hosting more than 10 free, familyfriendly events every year in the areas we serve. We strive to give back and to be a truly, local financial option for our communities. Visit our website at for more information.


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