Associated Credit Union talks fraud

ATLANTA, GA (November 21, 2014) — Amidst the recent data breeches and scams, Associated Credit Union is making it harder than ever for fraudsters to compromise member accounts.

“Right now there is a lot of news surrounding data breaches at major retail stores which we take very seriously; however, people need to remember that fraud can happen in hundreds of clever ways other than shopping at a store that’s been breached,” says Melinda Patterson, Fraud Manager at Associated Credit Union. “The new scams never seem to stop. We’re astounded at what these fraudsters come up with every day.”

Associated Credit Union’s Fraud Department is dedicated to uncovering the latest fraud trends before they become an issue amongst its 160,000 members. Below are common scams Associated Credit Union is noticing now:

  1. Friendly Fraud: “This is an on-going problem, especially with young people, where they will give important account information like a PIN number to a friend or family member,” says Patterson. “That friend or family member then steals their card to make purchases.”

It seems like a no-brainer but Patterson says it happens all the time. Members might ask a friend to run into a store for them, giving up their PIN number without even thinking about the potential consequences.

ACU TIP: No matter how good of friend someone might be, it’s never a good idea to share your PIN number or any personal information.

  1. Drive-Thru Rings: Crooks in these rings will steal purses and wallets then head straight for the drive-thru of the victims’ financial institution. Criminals believe that from behind the protection of a drive-thru they’ll be able to easily withdrawal money from the victims account without suspicion.

ACU TIP: If your wallet or purse has been lost or stolen, alert your financial institution immediately. Associated CU’s system puts a red flag on any account that has reported lost or stolen information. This red flag alerts Associated CU’s staff whenever the account has activity to request further identification.

  1. Facebook: “We’ve talked to members who have fallen for the Get Cash Fast scams posted on facebook. The member was told all they had to do was cash a mysterious check and they could keep half,” explains Patterson. “The fraudster disappears with their half of the cash then a day later the check bounces leaving the member to reimburse the full amount of the bogus check.”

ACU TIP: Unless you win the lottery, there is no such thing as LEGAL fast cash.

  1. Craigslist Fraud: One scam credit unions are noticing is when fraudsters buy large ticket items that are posted for sale on Craigslist. They will pay with a bogus check over the asking price and request the seller to wire the difference to a “mover” to come transport the item. The wire goes through but when the seller goes to deposit the check, it bounces.

ACU TIP: If you’re accepting payment from someone whether it’s through Craigslist, Facebook yard sale groups, etc., it’s best to only accept cash.

In addition to its Fraud Department, Associated CU hosts regular meetings with credit unions across the Southeast to exchange information on the most recent scams and best practices on how to stop them.

“We understand it’s impossible to prevent all fraud, but with our dedicated Fraud Department and network of credit union friends, we’ve been able to make it extremely difficult for fraudsters to get away with scamming our members,” says Patterson.

Associated CU is headquartered in Norcross with 25 branches in Metro Atlanta and four offices in Augusta serving over 160,000 members. Associated CU is a full-service financial institution and anyone can join.

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