It’s not ok that fraud happens all the time

Mobile SMS alerts can help members help prevent problems.

My friend’s 80-something father-in-law called her recently, frantic. Someone had called him saying her son—his grandson—had been in a terrible accident and he needed to send money.

Fortunately, the father-in-law called to verify the situation before transferring any funds. And of course, the call was a fraud. My friend’s son was in school, totally fine.

In a CUES Webinar late last year (playback available for CUES members), John Buzzard, account executive and fraud expert at CUES Supplier member CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., said a very similar type of socially engineered fraud—bail bond fraud—is becoming common.

In a bail bond scam, the criminal tricks a relative into posting bond to an account the criminal controls, often via wire or pre-paid gift cards. Buzzard noted that these scams can be averted if the victim hangs up the phone and verifies that there is actually someone in jail, like my friend’s father-in-law did. Panic works every time with this type of fraud, he noted.

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