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Holiday Warnings and 2023 ID Theft Predictions Require CU Attention

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Just in time for the holidays, criminals are racking their devious minds to find ways to spoil your Members’ good cheer. Recently, some important news has gotten released that should alarm all Credit Union Executives about the pending dangers facing their Members. And while cyber threat awareness has increased, many Members have become numb from constantly hearing about it. Unfortunately, the lackadaisical attitude that some of your Members may have developed puts them at an even higher risk of becoming cybercrime victims.

One of the expected direct threats to consumers (your Members) during the holiday season is Gift Card fraud. Unfortunately, criminals enjoy taking advantage of those who may have their guards down and are distracted by busy holiday schedules. Now is the time of year when gift card scams, such as requesting urgent bills to be paid via gift cards, planting tampered cards in store racks, or offering bogus “get a free gift card” incentives, are most common.   It would be a TRUE GIFT for the Credit Union to take some time to gently but directly warn Members to be alert and careful.   A holiday scam alert from the Credit Union could save Members from a spoiled season.

Unfortunately, the predictions for next years onslaught of ID theft/fraud and data breach attacks are bleak. Several warnings related to trending technologies make your Members increasingly vulnerable. The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has compiled and published a list of probable identity theft crimes and compromises for 2023 that gives Credit Union executives a good idea of the type of issues their Members will face. Criminals are becoming more deceptive than ever by using stolen PII (personal identifiable information) for more identity-fraud-related crimes that commonly won’t set off the credit monitoring alarms & alerts. The thieves are also using more PII information to engineer social media account attacks which skyrocketed more than 1000% in the past year.  These non-financial account attacks and sophisticated “impersonation crimes” will create havoc in many of your Members’ lives.

It may be time for credit unions to bring a value-added service to their Members, which helps educate, protect and engage them in ways that enhance their lives beyond the financial transactions that credit unions provide. For example, offering a Member Experience Solution that brings greater financial awareness and identity protection, more financial rewards, increased financial power, and significant lifestyle benefits would be a Credit Union benefit that all generations of Members would appreciate. And by making this type of Member Experience Solution a single sign-on program accessible through the Credit Union’s online banking or mobile app, Members would be more likely to remember and utilize this service their Credit Union has given them.

The good news for Credit Union Executives is that this Member Experience Solution is available for Members – and can be offered by your Credit Union. This type of solution creates substantial protections against future cyberattacks while establishing a new level of engagement and stronger relationships with Members. Ultimately, Credit Unions that offer a Member Experience Solution that include the unique elements described above will find themselves exemplifying the true Credit Union spirit.

Article by Jim McCabe, EVP with Vero, a California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues business partner.

 

 

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