The Importance of Educating Members on Fraud Alert Procedures

“How do I know if it’s the credit union or a scammer?” The importance of educating our members on the fraud alert procedure.

Have you ever received a call from a member asking about a strange text or email they received posing as the credit union? In most cases, there may be a link attached prompting them to sign into their self-service features. How about a member calling to inform you about a concerning text stating a large amount of their funds is pending to be withdrawn?

Most if not all credit unions or financial institutions offer a fraud alert service for their debit cards that alerts members through text regarding, suspicious transactions, recent attempted charges, or excessive transaction attempts due to insufficient funds.

It’s important to educate and prepare members about these types of interactions to minimize the chances of our members’ personal or account information falling into the wrong hands.

What a fraud alert from the credit union will include and how members can tell the difference
Usually, when a member receives an alert from the credit union for possible fraud, the alert includes details such as the amount of the charge, vendor details, and the last four digits of the card number used.

Some institutions require their members to verify the alert with a simple yes or no answer. Others take it a step further and include a specific time frame for the alert to be verified; before the card is closed and a new one needs to be re-ordered. These types of messages are concise and never require members to provide sensitive information through a phone call or text.

Now how can we educate members on what to look out for? The primary goal for a scammer is to obtain credit union members’ personal and account information willingly. Phishing texts usually don’t include vendor information, and in some cases, the last four digits of the card number are notated.

Others include phone numbers or instructions for members to click on false links, mimicking the sign-in page on their online banking screens. This process allows the scammer to simultaneously collect their target’s personal info and log-in credentials, granting them access to their victim’s accounts and funds. This is why it’s imperative for members to understand the difference between the two before taking action or investigating.

Click here to read the entire article by Kaylee Russell, CU*Answers/CUSO Magazine