(5-Minute read)

After all, even in a mostly online world, physical scams still happen.

A notable impact of the stress related to the COVID pandemic is most people now do the bulk of their financial behavior online. They pay bills, transfer funds, apply for loans, order credit cards, and more – all on a computer or with a mobile device. As a predictable result of this, the significant majority of fraud and other financial scams now also happen online.

Even when most financial activity is online, scams still crop up in branches

Fraud in branches primarily involves counterfeit documents or someone who tries to pass himself off as someone else. In addition, you may still see wire fraud or other currency-related crimes. The sorry truth is these kinds of attacks will continue.

Here’s an October 2020 news report of an in-branch scam in Houston. A woman armed with fake ID was able to drain her victim’s accounts of $26,700. The first day, she used a counterfeit driver’s license to withdraw $8,000 in cash and buy a cashier’s check for $9,700. The next day, at a different branch, she used the fake ID to cash the cashier’s check. Then, she went to a third branch to withdraw another $9,000 in cash.

The account owner endured significant financial harm. And the loss was directly traceable to the staff’s inability to be certain of the identity of the individual who requested the fraudulent transactions.

Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs) are another potential scam opportunity

It’s easy to see why. ITMs provide a near-branch-quality member experience. Advanced versions are practically branches in and of themselves. Plus, the opportunity to speak to a representative via video gives members access to greater choice, more types of transactions, and excellent service overall.

It should be no surprise to learn scam artists are also attracted to ITMs as a possible fertile opportunity. ITMs have a couple weaknesses a scammer can try to exploit.

Paper checks are one potential weak area. A check contains a lot of information and is easy to forge. The second vulnerability is the challenge of verifying physical forms of identity in a video-based touchless environment. It can be difficult for the representative to be completely confident they’re looking at real ID.

Every branch scam or ITM fraud shares one element

Regardless of whether it’s a physical scam or an online scam, each instance can be traced to an authentication failure. Whatever proof was submitted as identify verification was almost certainly either forged, faked, or stolen. And after every scam succeeds, a person is harmed financially. The organization is harmed too, by the loss of member trust and by potential negative publicity.

There’s a simple way to assure your members these fraud events will never happen again in your credit union: use MemberPass

MemberPass reliably authenticates members across all channels, period

Every time you authenticate someone, regardless of the channel or the purpose, there’s an element of risk. There’s a real chance you’re about to get scammed.

MemberPass creates a different reality. It’s a secure encrypted connection between you and the member. It creates two-way trust and delivers unmatched safety and security. When members ID themselves with MemberPass, you can be absolutely certain they are who they say they are

When MemberPass is in place, all forms of financial fraud are 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