Friday, March 8, 2019

Protect Members from Scams and Themselves

Members willingly give away their personal and financial information and then get tricked into authorizing wires, ACH, plastic card and other types of monetary transactions. Protecting members from themselves is a tricky proposition.
Recognizing scams can be difficult for both you and your members. But you can slow the growing rate of scams by remaining vigilant and continuing to provide awareness and great member service.
Unfortunately, scams are on the rise. Nearly 25 million Americans lost a total of $8.9 billion to phone scams alone in 2017, according to a 2018 TrueCaller survey. These numbers, while significant, only scratch the surface. Consider these statistics:
·         On average, Americans receive 23 spam calls and 8.5 spam texts in a month. (TrueCaller)
·         The average user receives 16 malicious emails per month (Symantec 2018 Internet Security Threat Report) with the fraudster looking to trick the individual into giving access to account, login, or financial information.
A primary factor is whether a victim finds a fraudster’s story convincing—and to what degree. A good scam artist provides enough information and urgency to compel a victim to act quickly. Unfortunately, with an aging population, perpetrators are preying on the elderly, who tend to let their guard down more easily.

What can you do?
- Familiarize yourself with the most common scams using tools such as CUNA Mutual Group’s Emerging Risks video series, RISK Alerts and Protection Resource Center.
Educate members about known scams in one-on-one settings, during community events, and on the credit union’s website or in the newsletter.
·         If you suspect a member has fallen victim to a scam, respectfully share your concerns with the member. Hopefully this will remedy the situation but be prepared with information and examples of scams.
CUNA Mutual Group’s Risk & Compliance Solutions also helps you stay at the forefront of loss trends and prevention strategies by providing educational resources. Check out the Consumer Scams emerging risk page to learn more.