Working together to stomp out fraud

While there is a plethora of scams from which one can fall victim to, surprisingly enough the criminality of fraudulent checks continues to this day very day in this high-tech digitally enthralled 21st century environment.  It seems like there has been a recent spike in the reporting of credit union’s own corporate, official certified checks.  I noticed this because we have sent out several check fraud alerts to credit unions on the Shared Branching network, something we do as a courtesy.

Reading what blogger, Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had to say in reference to check fraud affirmed my suspicions – checks are still a very viable instrument for those wanting to commit fraud or scam a victim.  According to the information on Ms. Lake’s blog¹ and a reference from the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, Scam Tracker Annual Risk Report, “Data at a Glance” check fraud ranked #2 in the list of scams and fraud.  It is worth noting the highest age group susceptible being between 18 and 24, while the highest financial loss going to those 65 and older.   That being said, it was certainly satisfying to stop a fraud situation in its tracks.  And even more rewarding to know this was possible due to the efforts and collaborative and cooperative actions of five financial institutions working together to achieve this.

Reflecting on this recent cooperative experience brought emotions of satisfaction and accomplishment.  It was one of those in your face fraudster moments.  And the thought of the collaboration and cooperation between organizations needs to happen more often than not.  We, as the frontline protectors and keepers of our member’s money, should be vigilant in our efforts to assist in preventing (to the best of our ability and resources) these acts of criminality.  Following your credit union’s internal, as well as applicable, policies and procedures, respectively should be a given.  In addition, being cognizant and applying best practices should help in mitigating potential fraud.

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