Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Day in the Life of the Fraud Department…

Fast Facts:
- U.S. Eagle is the only Credit Union in the state with a dedicated, local Fraud Department
- Our Fraud Department has been safeguarding member information since 2008
- Our Fraud Department consists of three individuals who are constantly on the lookout for thieves trying to steal from our members

Q&A with Tina in our Fraud Department!
I wanted to put the spotlight on our Fraud Department for a month and let everyone know hard they work to protect our members. Today, we will be speaking with Tina who is our Lead Fraud Investigator. She has been an employee at U.S. Eagle for seventeen years and has been handling fraud claims for fifteen years. Let’s hear what she has to say about fraud!

Q: What does a typical day look like for the Lead Fraud Investigator?
Tina: Well, the main things I deal with on a daily basis are: check card disputes, speaking with members affected by fraud, and working with local law enforcement to prevent financial crime.

Q: What is your favorite part about working in the Fraud Department?
Tina: Helping our members who have fallen victim to fraud. I immediately seek to remedy the situation as well as educate them on how to prevent these awful scenarios from happening again. My goal is to turn a negative beginning into a positive ending.

Q: What is the most common type of fraud?
Tina: The most common type of fraud is check card fraud. Comprises of large corporations have really caused some members a lot of stress. My goal is take this stress away! Due to these compromises, our member’s card information is basically available online. Their card numbers can be purchased by thieves on the black market. Once purchased, the culprits will create a copy of the card and use it to make purchases.

Q: How will members know if their card is being compromised?
Tina: Members will notice purchases they did not make. Once they see these transactions take place, they should call us immediately to close their card. We will have them come down to any of our branches, fill out some paperwork and we will solve the issue as quickly as possible. Our call center may also provide assistance with fraud disputes as well. We will also reimburse the member the amount that was stolen from their account. In the end, U.S. Eagle actually becomes the victim because we will always reimburse our members.

Q: What’s a new type of fraud that you are witnessing?
Tina: Mail theft. Mail theft consists of thieves stealing physical checks from mailboxes. Once a check is in their possession, they steal the identity of our member, and cash checks. For example, let’s say a member pays their electric bill using a check and places the check in the mail. A thief will come to the mailbox, steal the check, create a driver’s license and a fictitious check using the information on the check, and go to a drive thru and attempt to cash or deposit the check.

Q: How can our members prevent fraudulent activity?
Tina: Members can protect themselves from fraud in a few ways. I recommend pulling your credit report once a year – it’s free and allows you to be aware of any suspicious activity that could potentially take place. Another way is utilizing online banking. Checking your account regularly ensures that the transactions are valid and that there is no suspicious activity taking place. Lastly, stay up to date with current events and maintain a healthy knowledge of potential fraudulent activity that could happen to anyone.

Q: Any last words of advice for our readers?
Tina: If you ever think you are a victim of fraud and or your account has been compromised always know that U.S. Eagle Federal Credit Union has a local fraud department that is here for you. The Fraud Department can be reached at 505-342-8871.