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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Member Education Helps Prevent Damage from Online Scam   (Misc News: January 23, 2012)

A Michigan credit union is crediting its member education initiative for keeping critical information safe when an online scam targeted its ranks.

Many of MSUFCU’s members were recently hit by a phishing scam with an email that appeared to be coming from the credit union, asking for personal information such as credit card numbers. It also stated that immediate action was required.

MSUFCU’s staff acted immediately, blanketing its membership with an alert advising them not to open the fraudulent message. 

Executive Vice President/COO April Clobes said that out of 170,000 members, only a handful were affected and all of those accounts have been reset. She credited the quick actions of the credit union’s fraud protection team for preventing more widespread damage.

“Members ended up receiving our email before they even got to the fraudulent message in their inbox,” Clobes said. “Then our internal programmers went to work shutting down the site so if the member clicks through they would receive an error message.”

She also stressed that MSUFCU has worked hard to educate its members to the dangers of this sort of scam, and that the work is clearly paying off. "No financial institution would ever send you an email asking you for that data, because first of all, we already have it, and second, it's not secure for you to provide that in an email."

She added that even though a handful of members told the credit union they clicked through to the fraudulent site, her team was able to replace important account numbers and any sensitive information in order to protect the member.

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