COVID-19 Scams and ID Fraud

in Additional CU Weekly Articles
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We are facing an unprecedented time in our lives with the coronavirus upon us and people taking every imaginable precaution to “be safe” and survive the aftermath.  Having three sisters who are nurses and who love to give advice, the basic practices of good hygiene are essential and the best way to avoid this virus.  That is as far as this article will go on any medical aspects of this issue.

With the wave of fear going on, it might be a great opportunity for credit unions to look at the financial aspects of this unprecedented time and determine what other ways that members could be supported.

Understanding that the healthcare industry is the leading industry for data breach and ID theft related issues (medical ID theft & fraud), perhaps it might be prudent to look for ways to protect members as they find themselves possibly spending more time in urgent care facilities or hospitals. Criminals know that these healthcare operations are extremely distracted by the potential number of patients which could unfold….hopefully not….but these operations need to be prepared. For an example, in 2019, 40 million Americans were affected by health data breaches.

Members might really appreciate a symbol of protection and concern from their credit union at this time.  Although you can’t provide a medical solution to offer, you could provide basic protection against the threats of medical fraud attacks and provide increased member awareness to be on guard. For those credit unions who might already have ID theft & fraud protection incorporated into services it is a fantastic time to remind members of these powerful services.

The coronavirus scams are already in full swing from the criminals and we can all expect it to only get worse as people continue to get bombarded with every imaginable negative news associated with this pandemic…driving up fear and uncertainty.

There are a wide variety of packaged solutions out on the market that incorporate fully managed ID theft & fraud recovery together with strong dark web monitoring to give members the ultimate safety net against criminal medical fraud & ID theft attacks.  If nothing else, incorporating these kinds of services signifies to members the intent to be protective in whatever means possible….and help calm fears.  It might even be practical to provide these services at no cost to the members for an extended period of time, thus showing a sensitivity to the economic effects of all of this as well.

These unprecedented times call for unprecedented action and credit unions have a powerful voice with their members to guide them and offer a positive message of identity protection and safety while they are dealing with the potential medical dangers at the same time.  Any kind of positive news at this time could be received by members in the most significant way and remind them how credit unions uniquely go beyond their walls to enhance the lives of those they serve.

Article by Jim McCabe, Senior Vice President, Identity Theft Solutions, Vero.