BY MATT CULLINA
Identity theft stemming from cyber fraud is showing no signs of shedding its reputation for being a top complaint among consumers. Is your credit union doing all it can to maintain its status as a safeguarder of its membership? These tips will help your CU secure its position as protectorate of financial assets.
Financial institutions – and the consumers they serve – face an increasingly complex landscape when it comes to fraud and data breaches. From legitimate-looking phishing scams to well-educated hackers, the threats to personal and banking information become more sophisticated every day. As the public struggles to foil thieves and protect their private data, it’s no surprise that identity theft continues to be one of the top three in the Federal Trade Commission’s national ranking of consumer complaints for the 16th consecutive year.
Consumers already look to the banking industry for the latest intelligence on where financial risks exist. Communicating about fraud and security and offering proactive identity protection and resolution tools are a perfect fit for credit unions whose mission is to safeguard their members. Offering members an effective way to protect their financial assets is a natural extension of a credit union’s financial education program and one that can serve as a key differentiator among the competition.
Incorporate the latest trends in fraud monitoring
Fraud monitoring is nothing new within the financial sphere, but credit unions are shifting focus in some areas and are adding a host of proactive strategies to work alongside the long-standing reactive tools that are already in place. A rise in e-commerce activity, for example, has created new opportunities for cyber thieves and has increased risks for members. With retailers transitioning to chip-enabled card readers, it has been predicted that some criminals will likely move online, where pilfering card numbers is often easy by comparison. Name, address and CVC/CVV matching are just a few of the risk mitigation strategies credit unions are leveraging to identify and shut down instances of fraud more quickly.
Monitoring transactions for time- and location-specific activity that is out of the ordinary is another effective tactic. Recurring activity in the middle of the night may be unusual for a small credit union whose members are within a limited geographic region, for example. A rash of large purchases on a normally quiet account could also point to trouble. But individual fraud alerts aren’t the only important datasets to review. Trends in the number of alerts or the type of fraud that is occurring could also provide credit unions with an early warning sign of a larger problem. Targeted fraud monitoring may then be employed to identify cyber threats with more granularity. A credit union’s attentiveness to this level helps it protect members proactively and save them from becoming fraud victims.