Learn About Marketing and Sales for Business at This Free Seminar in May 2015

Concept of trendAre you looking to learn new techniques to drive sales and publicize your company? Jack Gottlieb, President of the Total Solutions Group, Inc. will be providing top-notch information to help you market your business in this technological and aggressive economy. We invite business owners, those interested in starting a business and professionals in the marketing and sales fields to attend this informational seminar.

During this seminar, you will immerse into and apply the key elements of building a marketing strategy that will provide the foundation needed to build a business in today’s more competitive environment. This will include knowing your customer’s true needs, branding and gaining consistent leads as a result. From there you will develop a more strategic approach to maximizing sales opportunities and relationships with key customers.

Join us on Tuesday, May 12th at 8:30am for networking and a light breakfast followed by our seminar, “Marketing and Sales for Business.” The seminar will be held at First Financial’s Corporate Office located at 1800, Rt. 34 North, Building 3, Suite 302, Wall, NJ. Space is limited – register below.


Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

Credit Cards Can Be Stolen Right Under Your Nose

635576298599917158-468266197-4-There are several things people freak out about when their wallets or purses have been stolen: knowing a thief has your ID (and your home address), losing irreplaceable gift cards or cash, and having to cancel your credit cards. That’s usually the first thing people do — call their banks — but it’s easy to act quickly when you realize you’ve been robbed. Sometimes, it’s not that simple.

Thieves steal credit and debit cards all the time without taking the physical card. The most common kind of card theft results from data breaches. Last year, millions of U.S. consumers had their cards replaced after their information was compromised in one of the massive cyberattacks on retailers, even if their cards didn’t show unauthorized activity. People have gotten used to the idea that data breaches are inevitable, but there are lots of daily activities that put your cards at risk for theft, without you noticing.

1. Drive-thrus

A Pennsylvania woman was recently arrested for allegedly swiping customer cards on a personal card reader while she worked the drive-thru at a Dunkin’ Donuts, WFMZ reports, reportedly using the information to create duplicate cards and charge more than $800 to the accounts.

That’s not the first time a story like this has popped up, and it’s likely to happen again, because the situation presents an easy theft opportunity to drive-thru workers: Customers hand over their cards and usually can’t see what the cashier is doing with it on the other side of the window. It’s not like you should avoid the drive-thru for fear of card theft, but it’s one of many reasons to regularly check your card activity for signs of unauthorized use.

2. Restaurants

How often do you see your server process your dinner payment? Usually, he or she takes your card away from your table and completes the transaction out of your sight. Many restaurant workers have taken advantage of this situation to copy customers’ cards and fraudulently use the information. Once again, regularly check your card activity for signs of unauthorized use.

3. On the Phone

People are pretty trusting when making orders over the phone, assuming that whoever takes the order is entering the credit or debit card number, expiration date and security code into a payment system, not just copying it down for their own use. On the flip side, it might not be the person on the other end of the call you should worry about — plenty of people read their card information aloud within earshot of strangers, making it easy for someone nearby to write down the numbers.

4. RFID Scanners

Most radio-frequency identification (RFID)-enabled credit and debit cards have a symbol (four curved lines representing a signal emission) indicating the card has the technology for contactless payment. If you have one of these cards, you have the ability to use tap-and-pay terminals found at some retailers, because your card sends payment information via radio frequencies, received by the terminal.

That same technology also allows thieves to use RFID scanners to copy your card data if they get close enough to it and your card isn’t protected. If you’re not sure your card has RFID technology, call your issuer, and if it does, use signal-blocking materials and products to protect it.

5. Card skimmers

Thieves have been installing copying devices at gas pumps and ATMs for years: They tamper with card readers to install skimmers that copy your card data when you swipe it, so a thief takes your credit or debit card information while you complete an otherwise routine transaction. Experts advise you look closely at card readers for signs of tampering, use ATMs serviced by your bank and check your card activity regularly for signs of fraud.

That’s really the best way to combat credit card theft: Watch closely for it. With online banking and mobile applications, it’s easy to check your accounts every day, making it more likely you’ll spot something out of the ordinary than if you only looked at card activity once a week or so. You can also check your credit score for sudden changes, which can be a sign of fraud or identity theft.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Check out First Financial’s ID Theft Protection products – with our Fully Managed Identity Recovery services, you don’t need to worry. A professional Recovery Advocate will do the work on your behalf, based on a plan that you approve. Should you experience an Identity Theft incident, your Recovery Advocate will stick with you all along the way – and will be there for you until your good name is restored and you can try it FREE for 90 days!*

Our ID Theft Protection options may include some of the following services, based on the package you choose to enroll in: Lost Document Replacement, Credit Bureau Monitoring, Score Tracker, and Three-Generation Family Benefit. To learn more about our ID Theft Protection products, click here and enroll today!**

*Available for new enrollments only. After the free trial of 90 days, the member must contact the Credit Union to opt-out of ID Theft Protection or the monthly fee of $4.95 will automatically be deducted out of the base savings account or $8.95 will be deducted out of the First Protection Checking account (depending upon the coverage option selected), on a monthly basis or until the member opts out of the program. **Identity Theft insurance underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of Chartis Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions.

Article source courtesy of Christine DiGangi, Credit.com.

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2015

family-picnic-springSpring is finally here! Time to enjoy the fresh flowers, warm weather, and great outdoor activities. Check out all of the fun events we have listed below – many of them are free or very inexpensive that you and your family and friends can enjoy this month. As always, we welcome you to post a comment with your feedback, we’d love to hear how you liked any of the events we posted!

Saturday, April 4: Visit Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for an Easter Egg Hunt in the Village from 12pm-4pm! The handmade Easter Bonnet Parade (with prizes) will be held at 3pm. There is a limited supply, please purchase tickets in advance – just $5 per person, children under 3 are FREE. All of the historic buildings are now open for the season! For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, April 5: Get dressed up in your Sunday best and stroll the boardwalk at our legendary celebration – the 2015 Asbury Park Easter Parade! This will be the parade’s 80th Anniversary and will be held from 1pm-3pm. The parade features men, women, boys and girls all competing to be judged the best dressed for trophies and prizes from local merchants and restaurants. For more information, call 732-502-5752.

Saturday, April 11 & Sunday, April 12: The Company of Dance Arts is pleased to present their original version of Cinderella, which was performed for the first time in the spring of 2012. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s stirring score, this classic tale of rags to riches comes alive onstage. Audience members of all ages will enjoy this ballet and the beautiful choreography, costumes and staging. In addition to the classical touches, this ballet includes many comedic moments featuring the hilarious Step Mother and Step Sisters! The show will be held at Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank) and tickets start at just $20 a person. For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Thursday, April 16: Join Salt Creek Grille (Rumson) for their 12th Annual Wine & Martini Tasting to benefit the Kortney Rose Foundation. Enjoy an evening of wine vendors, hors d’oeuvres, pasta stations, live jazz music and so much more. The event starts at 7pm – a great date night or girls’ night out! For more information, call 732-933-9272.

Thursday, April 23: Are you a small business owner looking to get noticed on social media? Join First Financial along with Social Media Expert, Deborah Smith, for our “Paid Social Media Ad Campaigns for Business” Seminar. The event will be held at our Wall Office at 8:30am for networking and light breakfast followed by the seminar promptly at 9am. Space and time is limited, reserve your seat today! For more information, call us at 866.750.0100.

Saturday, April 25: It’s the Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap at Deep Cut Gardens (Middletown)! Bring plants in one-quart, one-gallon, or two-gallon containers to the park and take home the same size and number of plants. It is asked to please label all plants prior to the event. Herb and vegetable seedlings may also be exchanged, but invasive plants will not be accepted; a list of such plants and further information is available at http://www.njisst.org. Please Note: To allow for plant inspection as per N.J. Department of Agriculture regulations, plant intake will be from 8-10 a.m., with no plants accepted after 10 a.m. Plants may be selected and taken from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 732-671-6050.

Bring your “furry” family members to the Monmouth County SPCA’s 21st Annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair! Join over 2,000 people and their pets and enjoy shopping vendors, live music, raffles, doggie costume contests and much more. The event will be held at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft) from 10am-3pm. For more information, call 732-440-1558.

Sunday, April 26 (Rain date May 3): You don’t want to miss Red Bank’s International Flavour Festival! From noon-7pm, enjoy 25 of Red Banks finest restaurants who will be cooking up international favorites including Korean, Thai, Italian, Chinese, American, Mexican, Irish and more. There will also be international beers and wines from various countries. Bring the entire family to this unbelievable fundraising event – proceeds will benefit the Red Bank River Center, Parker Family Health Center, and Monmouth Day Care. For more information, call 732-829-1104.

Happy Spring!

FREE “How to Buy & Sell Your Home” Seminar this April 2015

Hispanic family outside home with sold signThere are a lot of uncertainties that arise when it comes to buying or selling a home: if the market is right, how to choose a realtor, how much to budget for, are just a few of them. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to gain insight on the best way to move forward with your home buying/selling process.

At our upcoming consumer seminar, attendees will learn:

  • How to go about buying a new home.
  • The best way to sell your current home.
  • How to figure out how much house you can afford.

Join us on Thursday, April 16th at 6:00pm for our “How to Buy & Sell Your Home” Seminar, presented by the experts at First Financial as well as Tina Pilot, Realtor-Associate for Re/Max. The event will be held at our Wall Office at 1800 Route 34 North (Building 3, Suite 302), Wall. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today!

Register Now!
Tina Pilot has worked in the insurance, mortgage, and title business since 1998 and has a very diverse background in the industry. She obtained her real estate license in 2007 and has served on the Realtor Community Service (RCS) Committee of the Ocean County Board of Realtors since 2011. Outstanding customer service is Tina’s top priority. In addition to serving clients in her market area Tina provides a referral service so whether you are moving from or to another state or county she is able to offer her expertise and utilize her network of real estate professionals to assist you. Tina is enthusiastic about continuing her real estate education so she can better serve her clients.

Video: 2014 Annual Report

At First Financial, our first priority is helping you achieve your financial dreams every time you do your banking with us. Together we will define your dream goals and lifestyle, empower you through financial education, build your wealth, plan your retirement, and manage your risk.

Check out our successes and accomplishments from 2014 in the Annual Report Video below.  Thank you for being a valued First Financial member!