Yesterday, we wrapped up our sessions on Fraud Prevention. We did two seminars sponsored by CUNA and the Ohio Credit Union System, one in Columbus and one in Cleveland. The OCUS (it will always be the league to me) did terrific work in coordinating the sessions. Here’s a picture of Joshua Reams and Dawn Pagon manning the registration table.
Josh started doing the sessions last year. It is a pleasure working with him as he’s very organized and professional. Dawn is part of our team at WWR. As a lifelong credit union person, Dawn is a natural in her job of marketing to credit unions.
Participants in both sessions had lots of questions and seemed to enjoy the seminar. As I said to both audiences, if they took away nothing else, I felt it was important that front line staff be given a threshold figure for checks and other instruments that they receive over-the-counter where they must have a second person review the item. While a credit union faces fraud on all fronts from checks to home banking to credit cards to fake loans, it’s so important to stop the scam artist or mule that tries to pass a bogus item for instant or relatively instant value in return. The figure that the credit union sets should be high enough not to shut down the teller line while low enough to fight losses in a meaningful way.
Other ways that credit unions can protect themselves is through investing in member education. It doesn’t have to be much. Newsletters, fliers in the lobby, signs– all of these things can help. We need to help members to understand not to respond to Nigerian emails, to be suspicious when someone who buys something in an online auction gets a check for more than he asked and just to recognize that cashing a check for someone expecting a cut in return can be aiding someone in committing a crime. Directing members involved in these types of transactions to a person at the credit union trained in fraud prevention can help stop this type of fraud.