'Fraud Prevention Fridays'

A Kansas City CU partners with the FBI to increase fraud awareness.

October 1, 2010

Mazuma Credit Union, Kansas City, Mo., partnered with a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent to host “Fraud Prevention Fridays” to increase members’ awareness of how consumers become fraud victims.

Former FBI agent Jeff Lanza, a national speaker on fraud prevention and risk management, addressed several topics, including phishing/smishing/vishing scams, senior citizen-targeted scams such as lotteries and sweepstakes, online shopping scams, and Nigerian lottery scams.

Lanza and Rob Givens, president/CEO of the $411 million asset credit union, promoted the presentations during interviews with a local radio station.

“Educating the public is one of the best lines of defense against these types of criminals,” Givens notes. “The more people become aware of scams and how to protect themselves against fraud, the less likely they’ll become victims.”

This proactive approach to educate the community came about as a result of several text messaging scams that appeared to come from Mazuma.

“Unfortunately, we had a few Mazuma members call the telephone number located in a text message or e-mail they received, and they gave out personal information,” Givens recalls. “The next thing they knew, money had been taken out of their accounts. We want to get the message out that people need to scrutinize who they share their personal information with.

“We preach to our members that Mazuma Credit Union will not call, e-mail, or text members, nor ask for their personal information,” he continues. “Through this series of seminars, we hope members and nonmembers understand how important it is to be diligent about protecting their information.”