(5-Minute read)

Society is finally emerging from its long COVID-based economic hibernation. Consumers now spend more money and enjoy the benefits of a strengthening economy. However, your members aren’t the only ones enjoying it.

The incidence of financial fraud is increasing at about the same rate as consumer spending. The cheaters are downright tickled about the economic recovery too.

ATM memberpass

Most people now use online and mobile banking

Not surprisingly, when society clamped down in March 2020, virtually all credit union branches closed immediately. People who had been frequent branch users suddenly had to find a different way to do their routine financial tasks.

Ultimately, most of them began to rely more heavily on online and mobile channels for day-to-day financial transactions. As a result of this switch, the bulk of financial fraud now also happens online. More than 93% of it, in fact.

But you’ll still see occasional fraud attempts at your ATMs and in your drive-through lanes. And you can expect the occurrences to continue.

Recent ATM scam nets a trio of thieves more than $250,000

In June of 2021, Romanian crooks plotted a sophisticated ATM scam in Virginia’s Roanoke Valley. Their M.O. was to install a hidden camera to capture PINs as they were punched into machines. They also placed a skimming device inside the ATM to record debit card information. After the information was stolen, the cards were returned to the unsuspecting customers, who went about their business none the wiser.


The thieves encoded the stolen information onto counterfeit cards and tried their luck at multiple Roanoke Valley ATMs. They walked away with more than $250,000 stolen from hundreds of personal accounts. Almost all the money was taken a few hundred dollars at a time.


And yes, they were caught.

Meet the “Felony Lane Gang,” the notorious perpetrators of drive-through scams

A Google search of the phrase “Felony Lane Gang” returns hundreds of local news reports like this one. The gang’s approach is organized and effective.

They originated in Florida around 2004, but now they operate virtually nationwide. They’re thought to be responsible for stealing millions of dollars. Gang members steal wallets and checkbooks and use the stolen IDs to cash forged checks.

Law enforcement refers to them as the “Felony Lane Gang” because they always use the drive-thru lane farthest from the teller window. This lane carries the lowest risk of being recognized as a fraud or a criminal.

The gang recruits both men and women. Each gang member performs a specific job. Some break into cars, some are pickpockets, and some cash the forged checks. 

Driveup memberpass

And they understand human behavior. They know people often neglect to lock their vehicles while they run quick errands. For example, when they go into a school to retrieve a child or run into a convenience store to get coffee. The gang capitalizes on this.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of the Felony Lane Gang is for your members to always practice safe behaviors. Tell them to be sure to always lock their car or their home. And women in particular should be reminded to always keep their purse close at hand if they’re out in public or at a place like the gym.

Regardless of channel, MemberPass is the fraud-proof way for you to authenticate members

Every time you authenticate someone, regardless of the channel or the purpose, there’s always an element of risk. There’s a definable chance you may be getting scammed.

MemberPass is different. It’s a secure encrypted connection between you and your members. It creates two-way trust and delivers unmatched safety and security.

If members authenticate themselves with MemberPass, you can be absolutely certain they are who they say they are. And that’s true in every financial channel and every financial circumstance.

When MemberPass is in place, financial fraud is virtually eliminated

If you haven’t already added MemberPass to your credit union, we’d be happy to arrange a personal demo

Seeing is believing, and you can email us to set one up. You can also register to attend a MemberPass webinar or visit us online at www.memberpass.com to find out more.

The convenience, security and fraud-fighting power of MemberPass should be part of every member’s financial wellness profile. The sooner you adopt the program, the sooner your members will enjoy the direct benefits!

Bonifii, a credit union service organization, offers MemberPass, a simple, secure, and convenient member identity verification method. MemberPass is a digital passport that provides convenient access to financial accounts while the members keep control of their private personal information. We leverage touchless technology to protect you and your members. Visit  www.memberpass.com or email sales@memberpass.com