Operation: Unclutter 2011 - and keep your identity while you are at it.

by Erica Starr 18. April 2011

With today being April 18th, a.k.a 2011's tax deadline, we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate Earth Day (April 22nd ) by teaming up with the folks at Shred-It to help our community “shred” those unwanted, clutter-enabling, not essential to your existence documents that you may have acquired over the years. Tax returns from last decade, useless; old credit card offers, it’s probably time for them to go; expired passports, bank cards, passports, visas, and identification cards; shred, shred shred! It’s an easy way to get rid of those unnecessary documents by recycling the shredded material, which is good for both you and the environment.

The US Federal Trade Commission received 250,854 complaints about identity theft during 2010.  In many cases, identity theft victims are unaware they are a target until they see the havoc wreaked on their credit report. While much of the fraud takes place online, most of the identity theft takes place in offline areas. While the tech-savvy thieves continue to unite, your trash can should NOT be the scene of the crime. Entering your information into a phony website or swiping your card at a skimmed gas pump (skimmer: small electronic devices that gather and store all credit or ATM card data) can happen even to the most cautious of consumers; however, conveniently leaving your social security number in an public unsecure container (i.e., your trash can) is like serving your identity up on a silver platter.

In other words, when you throw something in the trash, it immediately becomes available to anyone who’s willing to overlook the enticing smells of last night’s dinner.

What to shred and what NOT to shred?

Now that you know WHY you should shred documents, the question now becomes, what to shred and what NOT to shred. At a high level, you should generally shred anything that has a signature, account number, social security number, or medical or legal information. Check out this link for a full list of documents that can be tossed (a.k.a shredded) and those that you might want to hang onto a little longer.

The Scene of the Solution: 1st Mariner Bank’s Cockeysville and Dundalk Branches

The Shred-It Team will be set up from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on Saturday, April 23rd at both our Cockeysville and Dundalk branches. This event is open to both 1st Mariner Bank customers and non-customers; however, there is a limit of five boxes per person.. We strongly encourage everyone and anyone to participate in this FREE, earth-friendly opportunity to de-clutter your lives and help Maryland AND your file cabinets to become as spacious, eco-friendly and green as they possibly can be.

Crikey! Looka there - it's the elusive Free Checking Account

by Erica Starr 16. March 2011

Shhh...looka there...it appears to be a rare Free checking account from what looks to be the 1st Mariner family. Just as I suspected, that there beaut is the Absolutely Free Checking Account from 1st Mariner Bank.

Crikey!*

Sadly, this breed used to roam across our nation, but began dying off in city after city. You see, according to Bankrate, in 2009 76% of banks had a substantial population of free checking, but in 2010 that number dropped to 65%. The factors that are causing this species to become extinct are hitting institutions of all sizes; large banks, small community banks and credit unions.

As with most species of the banking tribe, there are costs associated with keeping checking accounts at the top of the food chain. If these costs aren't recovered and maintained, the rest of the food chain, a.k.a customers, will feel the repercussions. Hello fees

Despite these rough times, the Absolutely Free Checking account from the 1st Mariner family has been able to maintain stability and remains one of the last truly "Free" species of its kind.

It has been said to have been spotted in and around the Baltimore, Maryland area on numerous occasions. In order to track down this elusive beast, we had to travel down into the wilds of Canton - sure nuff - there she be...

If we can just get close enough, we might be able to catch a glimpse of its grouse* features...
Cripes*...look at that...

  • No minimum balance
  • No per-check charge
  • No monthly fee
  • Free use of 1st Mariner & MoneyPass® ATMs
  • Free Visa® Check Card
  • Free Online Banking
  • Free Bill Pay
  • Free use of Mariner360

Stunning....what a beaut!

If you want to see this rare beast up close and personal like, you don't have to journey far. Just make your way into a 1st Mariner branch and one of our helpful tour guides can hand you the leash. Or even better, click here to capture your own Absolutely Free Checking account today.

For more information about the scarcity of free checking accounts, click here.

Aussie Lingo Legend

*Crikey: Expression of surprise
*Cripes: see Crikey
*Grouce: Great, terrifc, very good

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Not just another Bank Holiday a.k.a another day off…

by Erica Starr 14. January 2011

Dr. King is known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and around the world. Each year on the third Monday of January schools, federal offices, post offices and banks across America close as we celebrate the birth and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  January 17, 2011 (the observed holiday for Martin L King Jr. Day) marks the 25th anniversary of the national holiday commemorating the birth of Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you’re one of the fortunate who has the day off, then take advantage of the opportunity. Instead of using the day to lay around the house or finish up that last bit of gift returns/exchanges, get out and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  legacy by learning about his life at one of the many celebrations and programs at Baltimore area museums and libraries.

The city of Baltimore and its surrounding counties do a fabulous job providing numerous activities in which folks can learn and honor the life and dreams of one of the greatest visionaries in recent history.  For starters, come out and enjoy the city’s 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade as it proceeds down MLK Blvd. Too cold? That’s okay, stay warm at the American Visionary Arts Museum as they celebrate Martin Luther King Day at the AVAM. Not lucky enough to have the day off on MLK Day? That’s okay too.  Port Discovery is hosting their “I have a Dream Weekend.” Another weekend event that you might want to check out is the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History ‘s “Martin Luther King. Jr. Weekend”. As you can see, Baltimore is all about options - from parades to lectures, there are plenty of different activities out there for you and your family to spend the long weekend.

Although it is a most welcomed day off for some, please remember that it is also a national day of service to honor the life and dreams of the man responsible - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here for details on Baltimore MLK events.



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