Trust in the CU Can Actually Be the Problem

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PLEASANTON, Calif. — When it comes to fraud, credit unions' desire to provide superior member service actually helps scam perpetrators, according to Harland Financial Solutions.

Nigel Prince, senior product manager for self service channels, noted that identity theft is one of the biggest problems facing credit unions, and the issue can be traced back to credit unions wanting to go the extra mile for members. "Credit union members fall prey to phishing and smishing attacks because they are lured into a false sense of security thinking the credit union is trying to proactively serve them. That trust leads them to click on the e-mail link that takes them to an imposter site."

Prince raised that concern because of the increase in phishing and smishing attacks over the past few years. "Prevention here is education," stated Prince. "Credit unions need to regularly remind members that they will not contact them through e-mail, text messages, and even phone calls to ask them for their usernames and passwords. We have even heard cases the past few months where people are creating shell applications for Android or iPhone platforms that appear to be from the credit union."

Beyond member education, the credit union should institute more stringent multifactor authentication, hardware and software tokens, and make sure the website, Internet basking site, and mobile site have indicators or markers on them-"Ways that uniquely identify them to the member community."

An additional layer of security is needed, stated Prince, when a high-dollar transaction is made via the web. "So when the member tries to transfer a large amount it will come up and prompt them for another layer of security. That can be painful for members, but a necessary step."

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