Three Scams for Your Staff to Know About and Help Members Avoid

scammer in mask and hoodie with phone and laptop
Laura Lynch Photo
Products & Services Manager

2 minutes

Fraud based on FEMA’s funeral assistance program, medical beneficiaries and package delivery all have found success in recent times.

Front-line staff at your credit union have a unique opportunity to identify fraud and help members who may be falling victim. Educate your staff on fraud prevention, especially newly developed schemes identified by the team at TRC Interactive Inc., a partner of CUES in offering CUES Online University and First Line of Defense.

First Line of Defense recently taught subscribers about these three scams: 

1. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Scam

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program is a legitimate government relief program designed to help survivors cover the funeral costs for someone who has died as a result of COVID-19. Scammers have profited by posing as FEMA workers and calling, texting or emailing survivors to register them for assistance. Scammers take advantage of program requirements and exploit the strong emotions often associated with the loss of a loved one. 

2. Beneficiary Scam

A major fraud scheme involves scammers hacking social media accounts to gain the trust of Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. The scammer poses as a friend or government employee and sends a direct message to the beneficiary claiming they are eligible for government grants, citing such reasons as COVID-19 or a disability. To collect the funds, the beneficiary is asked to call a phone number and then told they must pay a “processing fee” to receive the grant money. If the beneficiary supplies the account information, they don’t receive grant money. Their own money is stolen from them. 

3. Package Delivery Scam

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a major increase in online shopping that continues today. The increase of online purchasing has resulted in a corresponding rise of package deliveries. Scammers have made money on this by creating fraudulent delivery notification schemes. Scammers send out texts or emails that include a package tracking link along with instructions for the recipient to update the delivery or payment preferences. Clicking the link may prompt the recipient to enter personal information, such as checking account or credit card information, which is then compromised. Alternatively, clicking the link may install malware that allows the scammer to secretly steal personal information from the recipient’s phone or computer. 

Laura Lynch is products and services manager for CUES. First Line of Defense is an interactive training platform for front-line staff. Each quarter, First Line of Defense sends subscribers 10 challenges that ask staff to determine if member transactions are legitimate or fraudulent. The simulated interactions include documents used in transactions, such as checks, driver’s licenses, account history screens and signatures on file. Once staff complete the challenges, they see in dollars and cents the potential loss to your credit union and members when scams aren’t caught. Book a demonstration with CUES staff.

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