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Fraud Scams
Authored By: Emily Oldenkamp on 11/18/2019

Fraud Scams

Since this week is National Fraud Awareness Week (November 17 - November 23), we wanted to give you some information, tips, and tricks on common scams that happen today. Please take a look at the difference types of scams below and see what you can do to protect yourself as well as how MFCU is helping with the scams. 

National Fraud Awareness Week

Romance Scams

Scammers create fake online dating profiles to lure victims into giving them money.

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Build member relationships to strengthen trust between our members and the credit union. This helps our members feel comfortable when talking to us about their financials.
  • Contact Center- Ask questions about transactions and notate anything out of the ordinary for our members. Inform them of the high probability of scam involvement.
  • Back Office- Use programs to search for unusual activity on our members’ accounts.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  •  Be sure you actually KNOW the person requesting money.
  •  Talk to your friends, family and FI about the transaction and relationship.
  •  Keep your info private!

Phishing, Vishing, SMiShing

Social engineering tactics used to entice recipients to act quickly through spoofed channels.

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Change account numbers, home banking credentials, and add additional security features to your account in the event of a personal/financial info breach.
  • Contact Center- Ask personal identifying questions that could only be answered by the account holder.
  • Back Office- Monitor home banking for suspicious logins and mobile deposit/bill pay activity.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  •  Do not clink on links or open attachments in emails from individuals you don’t know.
  •  Contact your financial institution at a number of record, not the number provided in a suspicious email or text.
  •  Contact your financial institution to verify the legitimacy of any phone call received asking you to surrender personal information.

Secret Shopper

Fraudsters pose as companies offering mystery shopping services to con shoppers out of money.

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Decline or put holds on suspicious checks to protect the member and CU from a potential loss once the counterfeit check is returned.
  • Accounting- Checks are run through a Fraud Solution program to alert of high risk items.
  • Back Office- Use programs to search for unusual activity on our members’ accounts.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  • Research any potential employment company online for scams on sites other than what were provided to you by the company.
  • Talk with your financial institution about a check received in the mail to purchase gift cards.
  • Stop communication with “the fraudster” once a scam is identified.

Advanced Fee

Victim enticed to wire upfront fees for a fictitious promise of receiving a gift of money.

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Review request and talk with member to identify any red flags.
  • Accounting- Review request and member account history before approving or denying the wire.
  • Back Office- Restrict account access once the request has been denied to prevent further fraud attempts.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  •  Contact other family members about proposed large inheritance payouts.
  •  Ask yourself, “Did I play the lottery?”, when contacted about a large prize.
  •  Talk to your financial institution about the entire situation before sending any money.

Grandparent Scam

Seniors receive phone calls from scam artists posing as a grandchild or related party urgently requesting money.

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Build member relationships to give the trust and comfort needed to protect our members and their assets.
  • Contact Center- Ask specific identifying questions and identify red flags of a scam.
  • Back Office- Monitor account activity for changes and reach out to our members in attempts to avoid any further losses.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  •  Try to directly contact the family member who is allegedly in distress.
  •  Talk with other family members about the strange phone call.
  •  Do not purchase gift cards and provide the gift card information over the phone as payment.

Money Mule

Victim is asked for account information to receive a deposit via check, ACH (SSI/SSA), or wire. They are then instructed to keep a small portion of the funds, and send the rest to the scammer. This activity can be ongoing, and is often used to fund illegal activities. Although the consumer may not lose money, they are tricked into participating in illegal activity

What we do to protect the Credit Union and our members:

  • In the Branch- Review account activity and the source of the deposit. Ask questions about who sent it and what they are instructed to do.
  • Accounting- Review ACH and wire deposits for suspicious activity.
  • Back Office- Monitor incoming and outgoing funds that are not normal for the account. Reach out to the branch and member to discuss the activity and prevent any further fraud.

What you can do to protect yourself from these scams:

  • Do not share your account information.
  • Make sure you know the person with whom you are engaged in financial transactions.
  • Talk to your financial institution about suspicious inquiries for money.

 



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Members First Credit Union | P.O. Box 2165 | Midland, MI 48641
Phone 855-835-MFCU (6328) | mail@mfcu.net

Federally insured by NCUA.
We do business in accordance with the Fair Housing Law.