WASHINGTON – Credit unions are hitting prime time on a popular television news magazine show. During its Dec. 5 broadcast, Dateline NBC will focus on the car sales business and the costly pitfalls consumers face from auto dealers. It will cite credit unions as a better car-buying alternative for consumers. It airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, 7:00 p.m. Central time. Three credit unions cooperated with Dateline NBC in producing the segment- 1st Patriots FCU in South Carolina, Digital FCU in Boston and University FCU in Austin, Texas. According to CUNA, the show will encourage consumers to join a credit union and will even point them to the consumer page of CUNA’s Web site, www.cuna.coop. Dateline NBC often covers consumer issues that intersect with the financial services industry. Recently, for example, it had an alarming report on how easy it is for anyone, including felons, to buy an ATM and connect it to the national network. The ATMs are then used to defraud consumers.

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