Important Fraud Alert


Consumers' podcast graphic with photo of guest Katie Warren

It seems like everyday fraudsters are coming up with new ways to scam people out of money. That’s why Consumers’ Senior Electronic Claimants Manager Katie Warren is joining Lynne for the latest episode of Money, I’m Home. Tune in to learn some of the latest tactics of scammers and how you can keep your money safe.


0:00:06.8 Lynne Jarman-Johnson (LJJ): Money, I’m Home! Welcome in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. From finance to fitness, we have it all. And today we have a very special edition of A Focus on Fraud and that is because there have been some really strange activities going on. Lots of text, lots of phone calls that is from bots. These are like made up scammers out there saying that they are from Consumers Credit Union and they want to get your information. And so today we have with us Katie Warren, she is our Senior Electronic Claimants Manager. And Katie, I’ll tell you what, when this happens, sometimes these look so real that they’re from your bank or your financial institution. What are people supposed to do?

0:00:48.1 Katie Warren (KW): Yeah, that’s a great question, Lynne. I think the best rule of thumb for members is to know that we will never ask you your full card number back to us. We will never ask you your full Social Security number to verify you. Each of your debit and credit cards that you have has a three-digit code on the back of the card, we will never ask you for that. Your expiration date will sometimes get asked but it’s usually in an automated function to match that card. But your full card number, your expiration date and the three-digit code on the back should never be asked altogether because you are in essence giving away all your card information.

0:01:24.6 LJJ: And so what happens is, we have partners that we work with that will tell us, “Hey, there’s a red flag on this account. It looks like it might be fraud.” And at that point in time, we do text members who have their phone number with us on file and we ask them yes or no questions first to start to verify that process. Is that how that works?

0:01:44.2 KW: Correct, Lynne. If we have your mobile phone on record for your debit or credit card and it’s within reasonable hours for a text message to go out, our fraud services will text and it will highlight what transaction they flagged and it will simply ask the member and the cardholder, “Yes or no. Was this you?” Now, if it’s no, it’ll direct the member to try their transaction again. So, if you’re standing at a terminal and it gets flagged for your protection because maybe there is something suspicious about the activity and you say, “Yep, that’s me.” then it’ll say, “Try to swipe it again or insert it.” If it’s not you, then it will block the card immediately and tell that member to call the fraud services team. But again, once you call our fraud services team, they will never ask you that combination of information which is all your card data.

0:02:36.8 LJJ: And see, that is a big red flag, isn’t it? When someone says, “Hey, I need your full Social Security. I need your full number on your card. I need the expiration date on your card, the back three digits or the four digits or whatever digits you have on your credit or debit.” And the thing is, you want to trust, right? You always want to trust somebody if they’re reaching out to you to say, “Hey, did you do this transaction?” But in reality, sometimes all they’re trying to do is get your information to use it later.

0:03:08.8 KW: Correct. And unfortunately, what fraudsters are doing is they’re capitalizing on that panic people have when their card gets denied or they’re… We all live very busy lives and so the first thing we think is, “Oh no, I don’t have time to deal with this right now.” And that’s when we find that a lot of people make mistakes and give out more information that would normally they would think through and not give it out, it’s because you’re in a hurry or you’re panicked. And so, we just always advise members to think about, why would they need that information? If it’s truly Consumers Credit Union, we printed that card for you, we have your card number on file, we know that information. But your three-digit security code on the back, that’s truly a secret encrypted number that the Credit Union doesn’t even have. Nobody should be asking you that.

0:03:54.0 LJJ: Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s something that is constantly getting yourself updated on all of the different scams. I know that we’ve had some wonderful fraud advice throughout the year on this podcast that if you’re listening, you can go back and listen to all of those throughout the year. Because every day, it seems like somebody’s changing something to try to get information through technology.

0:04:19.0 KW: Yeah, the other thing we‘ve kind of started seeing this weekend too Lynne is that. We have a lot of tech-savvy members and we love that because it just helps our members do more things that they want to do in real time. They don’t have to wait till we’re open. Another thing that a lot of members like to use is mobile wallets. So, like your Apple Pay and your Samsung Pay. When you load a card on there, it will verify you with a code and that’s called multi-factor identification and it will give you a code on your phone. And that text specifically says you should not share this code with anyone. It goes back into your device. And that’s another thing that tricks people up and sometimes fraudsters will ask you for that code. So that’s another thing. If you ever get a text that’s a special code specifically for something you’re trying to do on your phone and load your card information on there, don’t share that with anybody. And if you’re unsure if it’s Consumers Credit Union that’s reaching out to you, I would highly suggest you call us directly. because if it’s after-hours and we’re not even here, it actually overflows to our Fraud Department and our partners that we trust and utilize every day. But if you don’t know, call us, call that 1-800 number and somebody in our Member Service Center will pick up and will be able to help you at that point if you’re worried that the call coming to you might not be Consumers.

0:05:37.2 LJJ: And I’ll tell you what, Katie, there is no shame in all of a sudden realizing, holy cow, I was almost tricked. There just is not. It is happening on such a level that we want people to be able to feel comfortable asking us questions, coming in and making sure that we help when we can.

0:05:55.9 KW: Agreed. I manage the department and not that long ago, I actually was in a hurry and accidentally put my card number into a site that was supposed to be for a parking meter on Michigan State’s campus, because I was going back to visit and it was a spoof site. And I realized as soon as I did it because it didn’t approve my parking, so I had to get a new card. And I work at the Credit Union, so I was a little embarrassed. But it was because I was in a hurry and I didn’t want a ticket and I was trying to meet up with friends for breakfast and I did what we tell our members to be careful. And luckily it was only a $1.98 that I ended up having to pay for.

0:06:34.3 LJJ: Yeah, I remember once waking up to my phone beep, I had some alerts on there and I went into my account. And someone had charged over $700 worth of pizza in New York City. [laughter] So I thought, “Oh, I wonder how many pizzas that was.” But I was helped immediately. And that’s a whole key, getting help. If something does happen, we’re here for you.

0:07:00.3 KW: Yes, and make sure you just call us as soon as you can if you ever suspect anything suspicious. Because if you aren’t as tech-savvy in your app, today you can turn off your credit card in our app. And debit card is coming soon, but today you can turn your credit card off in the app. But if you’re ever paranoid or you’re just not sure, call us because we can put that debit card, just block it for the time being if we need to look over some history and whatnot and make sure that everything going through your account is what’s supposed to be there.

0:07:29.4 LJJ: Well, thank you so much, Katie. We really appreciate it. And we appreciate all of you as members because you reached out to us right away. And that’s why one of the things we’re doing is to educate other members who might not have heard about what’s going on out there. So, thank you so much, Katie.

0:07:45.1 KW: Thanks.

0:07:46.3 LJJ: Hey everybody, thanks so much for listening in. If you have a story or a subject or a really cool person that you want us to interview, just say so. We would be glad to. Jake Esselink, thank you for your production skills. Money, I’m Home! Thanks for joining us. Have a great week.


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