Voluntary Restraints Aimed At CurbingFinancial Fraud

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PHOENIX - (02/28/06) – Authorities in this U.S.capital of financial fraud introduced a set of voluntary bankingstandards aimed at reeling in some of the expanding fraud andidentity schemes that are scamming seniors, disabled and othervulnerable victims. Attorney General Terry Goddard said instead ofmaking funds easier to access electronically credit unions andbanks would make it tougher to get at your money. Goddard wants tosee them institute a number of ‘fraud-fighter’ featureswhich customers could voluntarily choose and change as wanted.Among other things, customers could impose limits on how much moneycould be withdraw from their savings or checking accounts; asktheir credit union or bank to notify them when suspicioustransactions are attempted; ask for delays on suspicioustransactions; and ask their credit union or bank to make electronictransactions more difficult. Immediately after its introductionMonday, Arizona FCU became the first credit union or bank toendorse the voluntary standards and said it expects to institutethem later this year. The program was also endorsed by the AARP,Arizona Alzheimer’s Association and other consumer groups.Arizona has the nation’s highest rate of identity theftcrimes per population and one of the highest fraud rates in thecountry.

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