COVID-19 Impostor Fraud: How to Manage These Crimes

 Imposter Fraud Phone Call Image  

Produced by Ann Davidson, Vice President of Risk Consulting | April 22, 2020

Financial intuitions around the country are reporting "impostor fraud" attacks on accountholders where criminals are posing as a fraud team or representative from your financial institution.  These attacks have resulted in as much as $10,000 in losses from a single attack.


In these attacks, the fraudster calls, texts, or emails the accountholder as your financial institution's fraud department, to “verify” their card numbers and other private information (e.g. account number, user name and password, PIN number, security code, etc.) to gain access to account funds.


Click Here to Watch CUbroadcast's interview with Ann Davidson on COVID-19 fraud trends

Many consumers are aware of the upturn in fraud crime occurring in relation to COVID-19. As such, criminals are hoping this sneaky fraud tactic will increase their chances of gaining fraudulent access to accounts by capitalizing on your accountholders' fears. Because these accountholders are under the assumption their financial institution is contacting them, many are willingly giving out private information. 

Tips to mitigate exposure to these crimes:

  • Educate your entire staff and call center about these attacks so they are aware fraudsters are posing as fraud team members, and they stay on high alert for the tell-tale signs noted above.
  • If an accountholder requests an email or number change via online or mobile banking, instruct staff to call the accountholder at another known phone number on record to validate and confirm the request's validity.
  • Consider turning off email changes and phone number changes via online/mobile banking platforms.
  • Let accountholders know about phone number “spoofing” so they understand these calls are not legitimate and know not to answer. 
  • Before placing a travel alert, call and speak with the accountholder to confirm they requested it.
  • Let all accountholders know about these crimes, informing them to hang up/ not respond to any incoming call/text/email claiming to be from your financial institution, and to call the financial institution’s listed phone number to report any such incident right away.
  • Consider sending out a communication to accountholders about these scams and/or adding a warning when accountholders log in to your online and mobile banking platforms.
  • Advise members to monitor the news and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website or to signup for the FTC alerts so they remain aware of other common scams.
  • Connect with your vendors to make sure they know about these attacks and to ensure they are educating their staff and clients about them.


Click Here to Download and share our "Consumer Scam Prevention Risk Checklist" to help keep accountholders protected from these and other fraud schemes.

With these crimes increasing, it is critical you continue to take steps to prevent fraudsters from infiltrating your financial institution or misappropriating your accountholders' funds. 

"Let’s Talk Fraud" Monthly Webinar Series Registration: Attend our next “Let’s Talk Fraud” webinar on May 20 to discuss today's most pressing fraud risks with industry experts.

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About Allied Solutions

Allied Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of insurance, lending, and marketing products to financial institutions in the US. Allied Solutions uses technology based products and services customized to meet the needs of 4,000 clients along with a portfolio of innovative products and services from a wide variety of providers. Allied Solutions maintains over 15 regional offices and service centers around the country and is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc. Allied Solutions has tools and resources that can help you keep an eye on the potential areas of impact, protect against collateral losses, and stay on top of any new events, bulletins, and regulations as they happen. Click here to learn more about Allied Solutions' fraud & risk services.

Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.

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