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Fraud prevention an ongoing challenge: credit unions have opportunity to educate staff and members

February 16, 2017

Eric de Roos, Payments Policy Analyst, & Samantha Ritchie, Marketing Associate, Canadian Credit Union Association

2017 Fraud Awareness Month Theme is Fraud: Recognize, Reject, Report

Marketing collateral will be made available to all credit unions

2017 marks the 13th anniversary of Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. Fraud Prevention Month is organised by the Competition Bureau of Canada to bring together government agencies and financial institutions across Canada to raise awareness about financial fraud. By communicating more information about how fraud occurs, Canadians can be empowered to Recognize, Reject, and Report financial fraud when they encounter it.

While credit unions and other financial institutions continue to improve their technology and procedures to combat fraud, the best line of defence continues to be an educated and knowledgeable user. In a survey published this year by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, three-quarters of respondents stated that they’re more concerned about fraud than they were five years ago. As more Canadians choose to manage their finances through online and mobile channels, it’s important that Canadians are aware of the type of scams that target these channels.

Specifically, the last year has seen a significant rise in fishing attacks conducted through SMS (text messaging). In fact, the most-common victim of these attacks are those who are more likely to use financial technology: millennials. It’s important that credit unions provide and communicate clear guidelines to their members on how they will communicate with them.

2016 also saw the return of the “CRA Phone Scam”. In 2016, more people were targeted by this scam than in the two previous years combined. Ahead of the 2017 tax season, credit unions should raise awareness of this scam and communicate to their members the CRA’s guidelines for requesting information.

As well, another method of fraud affecting Canadians is the use of “shimmer devices”. These devices, when inserted in point-of-sale terminals or ATMs, can steal information from a debit card’s chip. This information can potentially be recreated for the purposes of theft. This type of fraud reiterates the utility for credit unions to continue to communicate the security benefits of Interac Flash® contactless payments.

During the month of March, the Competition Bureau and its partners in the Fraud Prevention Forum carry out numerous activities and host a variety of events to inform Canadians about the impact of fraud and how to protect themselves. Credit unions can use the Competition Bureau’s tips for preventing fraud as a reference for communications. Further, credit unions can access the Competition Bureau’s fraud prevention portal for more information and many other resources to help you fight fraud.

To help in this endeavour, Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) has created marketing materials and accessed materials including research, tips and tools that credit unions can use to promote fraud awareness. This includes information from the Competition Bureau, the co-ordinating body for Fraud Prevention Month, along with the Fraud Prevention Forum; Ontario’s credit unions and the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, to name a few.

Marketing materials from CCUA
CCUA has created marketing materials that can be used year-round to educate members on fraud awareness and protection, including:
  • Brochures
  • Posters
  • Web banners
  • Social media posts
More information, along with a free Fraud Prevention Month web banner will be shared on the CCUA website by the end of the week.

CCUA has re-designed the Fraud Prevention brochure for use in credit union branches. The brochure is shorter and simpler to read and it provides practical information that your members can use to educate and protect themselves from fraud. ORDER NOW

Staff training with Cusource®
CCUA's professional development and education division, Cusource, offers a number of online courses for staff:
  • Your Role in Privacy and Information Security
  • Financial Abuse of Older Adults *Award Winning*
  • Know your Member, Manage your Risk, a module from the FSR Start Series
Visit the Learning Gateway to get access to these courses now.