Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A New York City man has been accused of assaulting a Nassau County police officer who was arresting him on suspicion of credit card fraud and identity theft in Massapequa on Tuesday afternoon.Omar Sepulveda tried to buy a 2013 Suzuki four-wheeled ATV from Island Power Sports on Sunrise Highway using a fraudulent Bank of America Visa card and a fraudulent American Express Platinum card at 2:37 p.m., police said.The clerk called 911 upon learning that both cards were fraudulent, police said. The 30-year-old Bronx man fled but was stopped shortly later by an officer with whom he got into a scuffle, police said.Sepulveda flailed his arms and kicked his legs while resisting arrest but was eventually taken into custody, police said.The officer was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a sprained knee.Sepulveda was charged with assault, attempted grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, identity theft, forgery and resisting arrest.He will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A man exposed himself to a woman and grabbed her breasts while she was getting into her parked car in her hometown of Bethpage on Monday night, the victim told the Press.Eileen Scanlon Christofi said she fought the man off and he walked away “zombie-like” on Stewart Avenue before she called 911 to report the incident to police shortly after 9 p.m.“This guy had surgical gloves on,” the 45-year-old woman said. “That means to me that this guy had serious intent.”Christofi said she had just gotten off a Long Island Rail Road train from Penn Station after a long day at work when she noticed she was being followed and asked the man what he wanted.He told her he needed a light for his cigarette, but when Christofi said she did not smoke, he asked for a ride to his friends’ house, which she said she also declined as she got into her car to leave.“This young man brazenly blocked my ability to close my door with his body and asked me if ‘I could help him with something else,’” according to Christofi.That’s when she said the confrontation turned physical. The suspect flashed her, pushed himself against her, grabbed her chest and then she fought him off, Christofi said.“I beat the crap out of him; he did not hit me back once,” she said, adding that he appeared to be high on drugs. “There was no urgency in his walk.”Christofi said the suspect was last seen walking down William Street. She described him as a scruffy looking white man with dark hair, bad teeth, 23-30 years old wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, a blue/black plaid jacket and pajama or sweat pants.The irony for Christofi is that her friends and family sometimes worry about her work that takes her to rough neighborhoods, but she was instead victimized in her hometown.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Freshman Nassau County Legis. Ellen Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) has been expelled from the Democratic caucus after allegations surfaced that she made racially insensitive remarks about a minority community within earshot of a black fellow lawmaker’s aide last month.Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said that learned from three aides that Birnbaum purportedly made “derogatory statements in reference to black people,” though no racial slurs were used. The comments, which he called “insensitive, [and] do not reflect the position not just of the Democratic caucus and party but the people of Nassau County,” were directed at the New Cassel community.“Let’s make this very clear and very concise,” Abrahams told reporters during a press conference Friday in Mineola. “Legislator Birnbaum is banned from the minority caucus and the Democratic caucus.”Birnbaum allegedly implied that the hamlet is “bad neighborhood” because African Americans live there, Abrahams said. After “hours and hours” of investigating the remarks, Abrahams said he felt comfortable with his decision. No recording of the remarks exist, Abrahams noted.Abrahams, who is also running for Congress, said that he decided to isolate her from the rest of the party after she refused to resign following a caucus meeting Thursday night.When asked if Birnbaum denies making inappropriate comments toward African Americans, Abrahams responded, “I couldn’t tell you.”“I’ve had many conversations with Legislator Birnbaum,” he added. “Obviously her recollection is different than what the three people have represented to me. However, last night we had a legislative caucus meeting and gave her the opportunity to again make her case…but I truly believe after speaking to these staff members that again it is very clear on what was implied.”The comments were purportedly made on April 30, after Newsday reported three days earlier that revenue at the Yes We Can Community Center in Westbury came in below expectations.Abrahams, who has the authority to appoint legislators to specific committees, also stripped Birnbaum of all committee assignments. Birnbaum, who was elected in November and officially took office in January, served on several committees, including: Gov’t Services & Operations, Finance, Veterans & Senior Affairs, Towns, Villages and Cities, and Planning Development & the Environment.Birnbaum’s expulsion essentially makes her an outsider in her own party.She will neither be able to attend any committee or caucus meetings, nor will she have access to senior staff members or the party’s communications office. She can, however, participate in the monthly meetings of the legislature, though it’s unclear if she will attend the next one scheduled for Monday.Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) during a press conference on Friday, May 16, in which announced his decision to expel Legis. Elln Birnbaum (D-Great Neck) following allegations of racially-insensitive remarks. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)Abrahams also noted that one of Birnbaum’s aides has requested to be relocated to another office, which he obliged. One aide will still work in her office to handle constituency services, which is obligated by the county charter.Her district includes Great Neck, Herricks, North Hills, North New Hyde Park and Searingtown/Albertson.Birnbaum was not available for comment. She has since apologized, Abrahams said.Abrahams also announced that he has invited Syosset-based ERASE Racism, a nonprofit racial equality advocacy group, to visit the legislature to conduct sensitivity training.Although he attended the press conference alone, Abrahams appears to have the backing of all six of his fellow Democrats in the Legislature, except for one, according to Nassau Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs, who did not identify who that may be. Republicans hold an 11-8 edge in the Legislature.Jacobs first learned about the remarks Wednesday and on Thursday he called for Birnbaum to resign. Some Democrats expressed hesitation with the prospect of publicly calling for her ouster, he added.Jacobs called Birnbaum Thursday morning and said he “came away with the sense that there was enough there.”Still, he said, “I don’t believe they are reflective of her views.”If the mounting pressure does, indeed, prove too much for Birnbaum, and she does resign, then either Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano would have to set a date for a special election or the seat could remain vacant until November’s general election.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 74-year-old Port Washington man was killed and another was injured when a boat exploded while refueling at a marina in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon.Two marina workers were helping two men on a 33-foot Carver motor boat refuel after the vessel had pulled up to a dock when the explosion occurred, setting both the dock and the boat on fire at 2:48 p.m., Nassau County police said.Robert J. Hogan was killed while the second reportedly jumped into the water. A third, who was on the dock, suffered burns to his arm and face when he pushed the boat away from the dock.The boat then drifted to a nearby dock, setting it on fire and causing damage to two additional boats, police said.The burn victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries. No other injuries were reported.Port Washington Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames.Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 43-year-old man has been accused of exposing himself to two girls, ages 5 and 7, and then forcing the 5-year-old victim to touch him in a Glen Cove supermarket, authorities said.Nassau County police arrested Edward Ramirez on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.Police said the Glen Cove man, who was a stock clerk at the Stop & Shop on Forest Avenue where the incident occurred, when he allegedly flashed the 7-year-old victim while looking directly at her at 7 p.m. Monday.The girl then ran to her mother, who was in an adjacent aisle, to tell her what happened. Ramirez then allegedly exposed himself to the 5-year-old girl and forced her to touch him before she too then ran to find her mother, police said.A joint investigation by Nassau and Glen Cove city police resulted in the arrest Ramirez a day later.He will be arraigned Wednesday at First District Court in Hempstead.Special Victims Squad detectives ask anyone who feels that their child may have been a victim of Ramirez to call them at 516-573-4022 or the Glen Cove Police Department at 516-676-1000.
2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Emily Gasper Emily Gasper is a strategic communication and marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. Before joining Buzz Points, Emily was a Marketing Assistant at the Anthropologie home office in Philadelphia, and … Web: buzzpoints.com Details If you took out your wallet and counted all the loyalty cards inside, how many would you find? The average American belongs to 10 loyalty programs. But do these pieces of plastic actually provide value, or just unnecessary wallet clutter? Furthermore, what makes a person feel a true sense of affinity towards a brand? Whether it is hospitality, clothing, coffee, or financial services, every brand should understand their consumers’ needs and values.One brand that has mastered customer loyalty is Starbucks. The coffee conglomerate awards “Stars” in exchange for incentivized behavior like trying new products, buying coffee in grocery stores and paying with registered cards. Customers can typically redeem their Stars for free food and drinks. The model works well because it is simple: customers receive the products they love, for buying what they love. Starbucks’s loyalty program also incorporates tiers – the Welcome, Green and Gold levels. Tiered loyalty programs (also used by airlines, Best Buy, Sephora, etc.) are commonly used to motivate, engage and reward customers.Another trend in customer loyalty is to think outside the box. “One size fits all” loyalty programs are out, and customized ones are in. With the amount of sophisticated data at their fingertips, retailers can study customer behavior and design their rewards accordingly. Gilt, an online shopping community, is an example of a brand that leverages customers’ purchase patterns and creates custom incentives. This formula takes the guesswork out of the equation and lets customers feel valued.So what does all this mean for credit unions? How can you gain members’ loyalty by showing them you understand their needs?First and foremost, credit unions can build loyalty without a formal loyalty program by taking customer service to the next level. Mikkel Svane, founder and CEO of customer support software Zendesk, offers some tips for customer service. He advises: remember that you are important in your members’ lives. They may come to you seeking advice on loans, mortgages, or debt relief. This is your chance to empower them. By doing so, you become a trusted advisor in their life, offering them a relationship that no big bank can.It is true that not all credit unions have access to sophisticated marketing technology like the large corporate retailers mentioned above. Instead, they rely on the long-withstanding ‘members helping members’ tradition. But in some cases, a third party vendor can help increase member engagement.Buzz Points, a free rewards program for members, partners with credit unions to encourage card use and shopping locally. With local and national gift cards as incentives, Buzz Points users become loyal to their credit union, keeping their debit/credit card at the top of their wallet. To learn more about Buzz Points, visit buzzpoints.com or contact email@example.com.
NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger and Scott Arney, CEO of association member Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union, discussed frustrations felt by small card issuers over data breaches in a Wall Street Journal article Monday on the Target Corporation and Home Depot breaches.Arney, whose credit union saw $80,000 in fraud losses last year, said, “When you have to absorb losses for something you had nothing to do with, it’s tough.” He was quoted saying the credit union has seen $55,000 in fraud losses in the first quarter of this year. He also noted a previous $150,000 loss for which his credit union received $1,000 in an industry settlement, WSJ reported. The specific cases aren’t named.Berger, quoted early in the article, noted small financial institutions are “looking to pursue any channel that makes them whole.”The article says financial institution trades note community banks and credit unions “have spent more than $350 million” to reissue cards and address other issues related to the Target and Home Depot breaches.” It points to the $19 million settlement negotiated recently by Target and MasterCard over the retailer’s massive breach in 2013 as well; it says a federal district court judge in a hearing Monday did not rule on plaintiffs’ motion to allow issuers participating in the settlement to seek other means of reimbursement. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Martin WebsterGoogle has a tool that allows you to export all of the information it has about you: websites visited, YouTube videos watched, photos, emails, profile information, and much more. I thought I’d try it to see how much information they have about me. When I clicked “Create Archive” to export my data, a message came back that said, “An archive is currently being processed. Please note that this may take a long time (hours or possibly days) to create.” DAYS??? How much data do they have on me?My first thought was “that’s just creepy,” but then I wondered, if they have that much data about me, how will I make any sense of it? How would anyone? It seems to me that if you could harness all of that data, you could see things that most people don’t. That’s really the genesis behind “big data,” knowing things you didn’t know before. But all that data has the potential to be just so much noise without any usable takeaways unless managed properly.This is the same challenge financial institutions face – how to leverage data to provide value to the organization and fuel to strategies. Here are a few thoughts on ways to ensure your institution is using data to your advantage. continue reading »
OK, the examiners just left. You received glowing marks for your asset management, your interest rate risk controls, your credit risk analysis program, and your investment portfolio. You got outstanding comments for your asset recovery, your lending sales, your customer service, and personnel management.Yes, they looked at your business continuity plan….well, maybe only a cursory glance. The 600 page printout from your planning software kept one examiner busy for days wading through it. On paper, you had it all covered—loss of IT infrastructure, robbery, fire, tornado, blizzard. You thought you might even have the zombie attack under control.You had a semblance of a Business Impact Analysis. You had a spreadsheet with a risk assessment. You had a plan for the pandemic. Your succession of command plan is locked in the safe. You’ve tested your core processor failover, even though the “test” was carefully scripted by your service provider.But, and this is a really big BUT….could you really survive a disaster? Could you bring the right processes back into operation in time to prevent the loss of members and prevent the loss of reputation?Where does that 600 page plan reside? Does anyone ever actually use it? Who had it out during the IT test? How may staff had it with them when you evacuated the building during the last fire drill? Even more importantly, when does anybody ever look at it? The week before the examiners arrive and the 4 days before you conduct a business continuity exercise?Wait a minute, did you say a “business continuity” exercise? How does that differ from the IT “test” of the fail-over procedures for the core system?Here’s how it differs. The business continuity exercise focuses on the restoration of critical business functions of your credit union. It focuses on lending being able to work from a different location. It focuses of which staff can actually work from home. It checks that those offices who say they can work from home actually can. It determines how much work the call center can do if they are forced to relocate.Oh, by the way, sitting a bunch of managers around a table once a year and “table talking” the exercise just doesn’t cut it in my book. You see, the goals behind the exercise is to learn what works and what doesn’t, to understand the limitations of the assumptions you make about your environment, to maximize the training of all staff, to solicit input from all levels of the organization on how to improve the plan and the process behind it.My opinion, and yes, opinions are like belly buttons–everybody has one, you only accomplish these goals if you force your staff out of their comfort zone. Sitting around a table is far too comfortable. How many times do you hear during a table-top, “Well, if this were a real event, I’d to this and I’d do that!” “This scenario just isn’t real!” “That’s not what we’d do if the real event occurred!” Those comments come because they are not prepared for the unexpected.You’ve got to understand a few things about crisis management in order to successfully survive an incident. There is actually a methodology for crisis management called ICS, the Incident Command System. Your reaction team should be based on these ICS principles.But I’d like to get you to consider crisis management from your own perspective, and consider my nine points to ponder:First, in a crisis, you’ll never have enough information to satisfy your discomfort. You’ll never have all the questions answered. There will be lots of stuff you don’t know—and sometimes you never will until well after the event is resolved.Second, you’ll never have enough time to be comfortable with making your decision. You’ll always be looking for one more piece of information. You’ll always be waiting to hear one last update from a staff member. But the crisis clock ticks on, while you suffer from analysis paralysis.Third, you’ve got to understand what constitutes a crisis. Regina Phelps, Founder of Emergency Management & Safety Solutions, said it isn’t the event itself. Events come and go. It only becomes a crisis when your credit union falters in its mission because of its inability to respond to the events in such a way as to preserve your operations.Fourth, a crisis won’t necessarily reveal all its ugly sides at first glance. The ice storm knocks out power, your water pipes freeze, and you entire computer room and operations areas are flooded. The hurricane takes out your communications infrastructure, and you don’t have a trial balance or enough cash to deal with the members needing cash. When managing a crisis, you’ve always got to be asking, “When’s the next shoe going to drop, and how’s it going to affect us?” If you aren’t asking these questions, you are going to be in for a rude awakening.Fifth, the best thing you can do is make the right decision. The next best thing you can do is make the wrong decision. The worst thing you can to do is to make no decision. You see, your organization is a collective of your employees. Think of each one of them as an “action arrow”, with each one pointed in some random direction. Decisions do one critically important thing: they align the arrows together. You create focus in your organization. Ok, maybe the decision wasn’t the right one (go back to my first and second points.) Now all you need to do is change the focus by redirection…you already have their attention.You can plan for any event, but it will always be the wrong event. You’ll plan for the last event, just as armies always plan for the last war. The event is never exactly what you planned. The crisis exists because you didn’t mitigate all the factors. That said, planning is the key. It doesn’t matter how well you plan, you will always have to modify it based on the exigencies of the event. There are several reasons this happens. They people you plan on having are on vacation in the south of France. The event is never a single event, but often multiple events, some local and some area wide. Oh yes, boil the key elements of the plan down to wallet sized checklists that make sense. Pages in your plan that tell staff how to use hair dryers to dry out water-logged documents aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.If you don’t consider your mission, your plan will be useless. “But,” you say confidently, “our mission is to serve our members! What can possibly go wrong with that?” Here’s my humble take on your mission: “Your mission is to safeguard my assets and deliver them to me when I need them.” What does everyone need in a crisis?????? CASH!I don’t care how big or small your credit union is, everything in you plan should focus on cash. Remember that BIA that prioritizes your business functions? Well, everything should take back seat to cash. And you’d better have it available when you core processor is down. That means a trial balance available off-line. You’ll lose members if you limit them to $300 “because the system’s down”.You can’t manage a crisis if you don’t practice it. You have to build muscle memory, so that many of your actions you need to do in a crisis are reactions because you’ve trained for it. When you fall out of an airplane, you can’t build your parachute on the way down. You’d better have it ahead of time, and more importantly, know how to use it. Exercise your plan. Not just the table top chat, but a real exercise. Make those tellers operate off line for half a day. Make the loan department relocate to where your plan says they will (and make sure they can operate from there). Make sure IT can actually recover the servers and infrastructure they support. Make sure your vendors can deliver to alternate locations or provide the kinds of service you need in a disaster (Spoiler alert: Many vendors are sized for day-to-day operations, not the surge you’ll need in a crisis!)Understand what affects your reputation. Yes, you’ve got a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and of course your website. But do you know if any members have said unkind things about you? Do you have a plan to manage a reputation attack. This can create as great a crisis as any fire or tornado. Rebuilding a physical disaster is a piece of cake. Rebuilding a reputational disaster is a problem of immense proportions, and I don’t know any credit union staff that’s ready to tackle it.Many of you may have noticed that the title of this article was “The Resilient Credit Union”. In my book, ideally “resilience” means never having to recover your business. It means you can continue operating despite it. With proper mitigations, good exercise, a plan that works, and a trained and motivated staff, your credit union can become resilient.Your planning, along with my nine points of crisis management, will put you in a position to survive your disaster, not simply survive the examination. All the high exam scores don’t mean anything if you can’t continue to provide service to your members.After all, they need their cash when they need it, not just when you are able to deliver it.For more information and helpful tips on how to prepare your organization for disaster, download Agility’s infographic, “The 6 Steps to Prepare Your Credit Union” 26SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ken Schroeder Ken Schroeder provides consulting services to businesses and government emergency management, with special focus on Credit Unions and other financial organizations. These services include plan development and reviews, staff and … Web: www.bc-resilience.com Details
21SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Membership and loan growth at America’s credit unions continue to post steady gains, according to CUNA’s credit union monthly estimates for July.Memberships rose 0.4% or by roughly 500,000 members in July to 103.9 million members nationwide.“This is the ninth consecutive month of above 3% yearly growth in memberships,” Perc Pineda, CUNA senior economist, told News Now. “We estimate half-a-million members were added in July from June.”Loan growth also kept a long positive streak alive, with credit union loans outstanding recording higher than 10% annual growth for the 10th straight month.Monthly loan growth, which increased by 1% overall in July, was fueled by unsecured personal loans and adjustable-rate mortgages, which both rose by 2.3%. continue reading »