Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Protect Yourself From Fraud

Were you aware that over $4 Million in fraud cases were reported to the Credit Union Insurance Bonding Program in 2013. This number is up over $1.5 Million from the previous year!

The strong emergence of online fraud has created an unsafe environment for consumers that have placed little protection on their past online experiences. Similar to installing a burglar alarm or locks on your home doors, members should be reviewing the way they conduct business online. Here are some simple tips that I put together to immediately ensure you protect yourself from online banking fraud which has soared and created over $1.8 Million in claims in 2013.

First ensure your computer has the most latest and up to date virus scanning software installed. Periodically check to make sure it is updating and scanning your computer for know programs that could record your key strokes. Do not use any PC or other device to do online banking that do not have a virus scan program.

Second, be cognizant of the internet connection you are using. If you do not feel safe and secure that the connection is protected then do not conduct online banking. Ensure your home connection has a password and where possible do not conduct banking on unsecure networks. Avoid hotel Wifi connections along with other public connections that are unprotected and could be compromised.

Thirdly create an image and saying under Memberdirect that is unique to you. Memberdirect online banking allows you to customize your login experience and to register your computer so that you do not have to answer the security questions each log in time. This will prevent fraudsters from getting your answers to your questions by copying your key strokes each time you log onto the online banking site.

Fourth, ensure you set up your alerts under Memberdirect so that you are alerted to changes to your account. This is very important! Alerts immediately send you an email to advise that you or someone who has hacked your account just created a new email transfer or other damaging action. Alerts are very easy to create in Memberdirect and if you need assistance, please contact your local branch.

We are witnessing more and more members having their online banking hacked by breaking one of the tips above. A fraudster accesses the account then proceeds to send themselves a e-transfer to an email address they create in your banking. They continue to do this until they completely wipe out your account! So please, create alerts, catch the transfer before it is to late.

One last tip, phone calls soliciting your credit card and access to your computer are becoming increasing popular. No finance institution or other agency will call your home seeking this information and therefore you are best to not reply to any phone solicitation seeking personal financial data.

If you have any further tips or want to comment on this post, please feel free. Until then, lets all work together to reduce this growing trend.