The Member Newsletter
December 2020
No more waiting for the mail
Tricia Smith
Waiting on a check in the mail from your credit union is so yesterday.

With 1st Cooperative, there's a better, more secure way to get your money. Just ask Tricia Smith, member services & communications director at Little River Electric Cooperative.

"It used to be that when I needed to move money from my 1st Cooperative savings account to my local bank, I'd call the credit union to get them to send me a check in the mail," said Tricia. "Then I would wait."

No more. "One day, Jo Ann Burnside told me about an ACH transfer," said Tricia. "I completed the paperwork, and, now, all I have to do is call or email the credit union by 2 p.m. and my money's at my local bank the next morning! I no longer have to worry about the check being delayed in the mail."

Members who are tired of waiting on the mail and who want their money faster can do what Tricia did. Simply complete this form. Or, call 1st Cooperative at 803-796-0234 to sign up for the ACH transfer option.

(Members can access several convenient online forms 24-hours a day on the Resources page of our website.)

Pictured above: Tricia Smith
'They make life easier'
Andrew Harvey-Jones
Andrew Harvey-Jones likes to keep things simple. That's probably why he uses 1st Cooperative any time he needs a loan.

"There's really nothing complex about it," said Andrew, apprentice lineman at Coastal Electric Cooperative. "I use the credit union because it's simple."

"Besides that, John Middleton is so easy to work with," said Andrew. "He's very responsive and makes the whole process of buying anything painless. Interest rates from the credit union are so good, I don't even need to look anywhere else. And the fact that payments come right out of my payroll just makes life easier!"

Members can learn about loans, get rates, and complete a loan application at

Pictured above: Andrew Harvey-Jones
Three fraud trends to watch for this holiday season
fraud prevention
Expectations are high that holiday shopping will look quite different this year. Unfortunately, this uncertainty is allowing fraudsters to take advantage of consumers already on edge during a time of unprecedented change and upheaval.

Beware of these three fraud trends this holiday season:

  1. Account takeovers. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce account takeover fraud (ATO) rates have jumped by 378%. Among victims of such fraud, 41% reported that payment details were stolen and used to make purchases, 37% had money taken directly out of their accounts and 37% had reward points or credits stolen and used to buy goods or services, according to Sift’s “Q3 2020 Digital Trust & Safety Index.”
  2. Curbside pickup. Another rising area of fraud targets “Buy Online, Pickup in Store,” or BOPIS. Retailers are increasingly offering curbside pickup. Criminals have identified this channel as a point of weakness, recognizing it as a new channel with loose in-person authentication protocols. 
  3. E-gift cards. The third area of risk expected to rise this holiday season is e-gift card fraud. This is nothing new — fraudsters have long targeted gift cards due to their anonymity and difficulty in being traced, and each year scammers steal $950 million through this channel. Common methods include purchasing gift cards with stolen payment data or asking for return credit in form of a gift card instead of cash or exchange. Some of the bolder schemes have used account takeovers to buy gift cards in bulk or involved the hacking of merchant point-of-sale (POS) systems to steal batches of gift card numbers.

How to keep yourself safe

Use unique, strong passwords across your online shopping sites and use multi-factor authentication when available on e-commerce sites. It requires an extra step before checking out, but offers an extra layer of protection, because a fraudster is unlikely to possess both your passwords and your smartphone or another device.

Sign up for a password management system, which can protect all your unique codes and allow them to be used across various shopping websites securely and conveniently.

Protect your 1st Cooperative debit card number by enrolling in CardValet, which enables you to turn your debit card OFF when you aren't shopping.

Review your account transactions frequently on the 1st Cooperative mobile app or online banking site and report any suspicious activity immediately.

It’s been an unusual year, to put it mildly. The staff at 1st Cooperative are available to help keep the Grinches at bay and want to help you ensure the holiday spirit stays alive this shopping season.

Source: Ashely Town, director of fraud services, CO-OP Financial Services
Hooray for HSA
HSA card
If your co-op funds a Health Savings Account (HSA) for you and your co-workers, let 1st Cooperative set up an HSA for you today.

1st Cooperative’s HSA gives you flexibility and control over your health care costs. You can contribute through pre-tax payroll deductions, and the interest you earn is tax deferred. Withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified medical expenses, including deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays -- even medical premiums when you retire.

For a $35 annual fee, your 1st Co-op HSA benefits include:
  • Free debit card
  • Full tax reporting
  • Added to existing CU statement
  • Account info through online banking
  • Penalty-free rollovers from other HSAs

Call 1st Co-op today at (803) 769-0234 to learn more.
A Christmas wish and holiday hours
Christmas masks
May your days be filled with peace, hope and joy this holiday season.

As always, thank you for your business, loyalty and support.

1st Cooperative will be closed on December 24 (1-5 p.m.), December 25, December 28 and January 1.

Mobile deposits made on December 28 will be credited after 5 p.m. on December 29.


Karen, John and Jo Ann