Combat Social Engineering Fraud

Produced by Jay Slagel, VP of Risk Management at Allied Solutions

Due to a general lack of awareness, fraudsters are often successful in obtaining your account holders’ private information using various social engineering methods.  Because of this, it is essential that you raise awareness among your employees about the causes of social engineering fraud and the prevention measures your financial institution has in place to combat these attacks.

Social engineering fraud occurs in a variety of ways:

  • Social Engineering FraudPhishing attacks via email or phone, where the fraudster claims to be a person of authority to obtain confidential and personal information.
  • Impersonation of a fellow employee, friend, or vendor to gather personal and confidential account information.
  • Obtaining personal and confidential information from digital storage devices (such as thumb drives, phones, or CDs) or paper documents that were not discarded properly.
  • Offering prizes or gifts via phony emails or calls in exchange for private information and/or money.
  • Baiting is when a person leaves an infected storage device, like a thumb drive or CD, at a location where someone would likely find it to entice the individual to load the infected device onto their computer.
  • Phone phishing where the fraudster uses an interactive voice response system (IVR) to duplicate a message from the person’s financial institution, directing the account holder to input their confidential and personal information.

Credit unions can defend against social engineering fraud by changing their corporate culture through education and training. Employees should know how to recognize methods of social engineering and how to combat those attacks.

Actions your financial institution should take to combat social engineering include:

  1. Determine which employees have access to sensitive information, and may be targeted.
  2. Educate employees about ongoing threats.
  3. Verify that deposited checks clear before permitting a withdrawal or transfer.
  4. Establish a multi-level authentication process for financial transactions or account change requests that are not performed in person.
  5. Never open attachments or links in emails received from untrusted sources and do not forward these emails.
  6. Tell employees to be wary of any prizes or offers made over the phone or through email, especially those that offer to update, correct, or solve a computer issue or problem.
  7. Protect private information on documents or storage devices no longer needed before shredding or destroying.
  8. Conduct tests to determine where system vulnerabilities exist and promptly address those areas of weakness.
  9. Monitor social media outlets to reduce the chance of sensitive information being posted.

It is likely that one or more of your employees will be the target of a social engineering scheme, but taking proactive steps early and often will help your financial institution to remain protected from these fraud attempts.

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Allied Solutions is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Insurance – Bond, Creditor Placed (CPI), Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP), and Mechanical Breakdown (MBP); and rateGenius.  More educational resources and contact information are available at


Best of NAFCU’s 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo (Video and Educational Highlights)

Credit union leaders from around the country gathered to network and discuss the most pressing issues impacting the industry during NAFCU’s 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montreal, Canada. The conference was NAFCU’s largest event in nearly a decade.

Here’s a quick video of some highlights from this year’s conference:

During the conference, attendees heard from NAFCU management and leading industry professionals that included keynote conference speakers such as Founder and CEO Jeremy Gutsche, and MasterCard’s General Counsel and Chief Franchise Officer Tim Murphy.

Solutions Expo at the NAFCU 48th Annual ConferenceThis year’s conference included the annual Solutions Expo, spotlighting the latest technologies, applications, and resources available to help improve credit union operations.

Our Preferred Partners exhibited during the conference and shared their thought leadership, innovations, and solutions during educational sessions throughout the conference.

The complete list of sessions and available presentation slides are available on Here’s a quick listing of key topics presented during the conference to help your credit union grow, retain members, manage risks, protect members, and improve overall operations:

Topic Category Presentation Title Preferred Partner
Growth & Retention Building A Strong Payments Strategy Vantiv
Health Savings Accounts, IRAs and Millennials: A New Generation Presents New Opportunities  Ascensus
Using Credit Scores to Grow and Engage Membership VantageScore
Why Your Credit Union Should Offer Wealth Management Services to All Members Money Concepts
Risk & Security A Deep Dive Into EMV Implementation MasterCard
Cybersecurity Risk Mitigation: Protect Your Member Data Knowledge Consulting Group (KCG)
Top Ten Fraud Risks That Impact Your Financial Institution Allied Solutions
Uncovering the Faces of Fraud Q2
Using Moneyball Tactics and Risk Rating Assessment Models Wolters Kluwer Financial Services
Financial & Insurance Trends in the Retirement Plan Industry Pentegra Retirement Services

Thanks again to the 2015 Annual Conference signature sponsor MasterCard, our 5-star preferred partner sponsors Allied Solutions and Vantiv, and all of our partner sponsors, exhibitors, and speakers.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at NAFCU’s 49th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Nashville (Music City) next year! Get more information, sign-up for updates on the latest conference details, and register by visiting

VantageScore’s Top Five Most Popular Questions at NAFCU’s Annual Conference

Credit Scoring with VantageScoreWritten by Jeff Richardson
Vice President, Communications and Public Relations

NAFCU members aren’t exactly known for being shy or reserved.  So you can imagine how many questions I fielded about credit scoring, both during my breakout session presentation and while chatting with conference participants in VantageScore’s networking lounge during NAFCU’s Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in Montréal, Canada last month.

Because some of the questions during the conference were particularly popular, I thought it might be helpful to compile and share the five most common questions that came my way. Here are those questions and related answers, presented in no particular order.

1. How does the VantageScore® credit scoring model help credit unions grow?

One of the key differentiators of the VantageScore® model is its ability to score more of your credit union members. Your lending portfolio will benefit from capturing the widest possible base of qualified and relevant prospects within your target demographics and risk strategy, without having to relax credit standards to attract more members.

Traditional credit scoring models limit your lending universe to a smaller percentage of qualified U.S. adults than the lending population available with the VantageScore® 3.0 model. The VantageScore® 3.0 model gives lenders, like your credit union, access to 30-35 million consumers who are invisible to traditional credit scoring models. That’s a group larger than the population of Texas!

  • VantageScore® 3.0 credit scoring modelThe model expands the lending universe by using broader and deeper credit file data and more advanced modeling techniques that capture unique consumer behaviors more accurately.
  • Nearly 25% of these newly scoreable consumers are actually prime or near-prime credit quality—excellent candidates for mainstream lending products.

A terrific infographic that provides a more detailed explanation is available on our website.

2. Why does your member’s credit score go down after he/she opens a new credit account?

One of the characteristics that contribute to the calculation of a VantageScore® credit score is opening a new credit card account. This is far less influential than the main factors that affect a score, such as missing payments or maxing out a credit card account, but it does have an impact.

A small drop in a person’s credit score is possible after opening a new credit card because that new account represents new risk of potential overextension, with no available history to demonstrate that the consumer can effectively manage the new account. Applying for a new account also likely involved a credit inquiry with one or more of the three credit reporting companies (CRCs: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion). That inquiry is also likely to cause a slight drop in an individual’s score.

As long as your member doesn’t max out the credit card or miss any payments on the new account (or any others), the member’s score should return to its previous level in about three months.

3. Who uses the VantageScore® model?

Nearly one billion VantageScore ® credit scores were used in 2014, by over 2,000 lenders and other industry participants, including 6 of the 10 largest banks. In that same vein, credit unions should know that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recognizes the VantageScore® model, and there are no regulatory hurdles for credit unions that want to take advantage of the model.

4. How can our credit union switch to VantageScore®?

The VantageScore ® model is marketed and sold exclusively through licensing arrangements with the three major CRCs (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Your credit union likely already has a relationship with one or more of these companies and can obtain more information about VantageScore® through your CRC representative. Get contact information for the three CRCs on our website.

5. Did I win the VantageScore® Drone Giveaway?

VantageScore's DJI Phantom 2 VISION GiveawayVantageScore’s giveaway of the DJI Phantom 2 Vision personal drone generated almost as much attention as our presentation session. Inspired by our company tagline, “A Higher Level of Confidence,” the high-flying prize was a constant object of curiosity – and longing by conference attendees.

Thanks to all who submitted a business card or had their badge scanned for a chance to win. You’re all winners in our book, but only one lucky NAFCU Annual Conference attendee could take home the drone. Congrats to credit union attendee Michael O. who is the new owner of a DJI Phantom 2 VISION!

It was a real pleasure meeting you all at the conference. And, if you want to connect with VantageScore® further, sign up for our e-newsletter The Score, and follow us on Twitter: @VantageScore®In the meantime: À l’année prochaine (Until next year)!

Download your copy of the free white paperMaximizing the Credit Universe” to get valuable insights into ways to revise current strategies to manage risk, while expanding the ‘credit accessible universe.’

VantageScore LogoVantageScore Solutions, LLC is NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for credit scoring. For more information on VantageScore’s products and services, visit

Top Innovative Solutions Recognized at NAFCU 48th Annual Conference and Solutions Expo

The winners of our annual Innovation Awards competition, recognizing outstanding innovations that help credit unions thrive, have been revealed! This year’s Innovation Award winners are preferred partners Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2.

2015 Innovation Award Winners: Insuritas, MasterCard, Q2

“Our partners set a high standard for innovation geared toward driving credit union success,” said Randy Salser, president of NAFCU Services. “This year’s winners provide innovative solutions that help credit unions stay competitive, while delivering exceptional member service.”

Insuritas for EasySTREET
EasySTREET is the first technology solution of its kind. It extracts data from a credit union’s core, its loan origination system, any credit union CRM or CIF platforms, and supplemental data from TransUnion or Lexis Nexis. It compiles a master auto or home insurance policy application on behalf of the member without ever bothering the member with questions. The technology then automatically solicits bids for auto and home insurance coverages from multiple insurance carriers in under 2 minutes. These prices are then compiled in a personalized email that is sent to the member. The member sees up to four bids from A-rated carriers, ranked by cost. For the first time, the credit union can actually do the insurance shopping for the member without ever bothering the member. For more information about Insuritas’ products and services, visit

MasterCard for Identify Theft Resolution
The Identity Theft Resolution Benefit solution provides credit union members with the ability to monitor the “dark web” and receive tailored alerts about their personal information. Additionally, MasterCard offers free identity remediation services to members who are victims of identity theft. This service will provide more peace of mind to members and will help credit unions reduce cardholder attrition due to security concerns. MasterCard is the only payment network that provides a service like this to all U.S. cardholders. For more information about MasterCard’s products and services, visit

 Q2 Holdings for the Q2platform
The Q2platform gives credit unions the ability to serve their members’ online and mobile banking needs via a single, secure virtual banking solution. While the Q2platform in and of itself is an innovation, perhaps the single most innovative attribute of the platform is its integrated, patent pending security component, RFA (Risk Fraud Analytics). By having a holistic view of end users’ activity, the behavioral profiling algorithms that undergird Q2’s RFA solution are able to build a comprehensive picture of a member’s virtual banking habits. This vital feature makes it far easier to detect anomalous behaviors that typically precede fraud and to stop suspect transactions in real-time—before any funds have been compromised. For more information about Q2’s products and services, visit

Representatives from Insuritas, MasterCard, and Q2 accepted their awards on Tuesday, June 23rd at a private VIP reception at the Musée Grévin in Montréal.  Join us in congratulating this year’s innovation award winners!

For a complete schedule of conference events, visit For up-to-the-minute information on the conference, follow the #NAFCUAnnual hashtag on Twitter.