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Remind Members to Beware of Facebook Scams

Social media platforms provide a way to connect with your current membership and reach potential members. Every credit union should have a presence on at least one—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

Since social media has become key method of communication, it is no surprise that criminals have started to use it to defraud credit unions. The latest scam involves Facebook—two men used it to buy access to credit union accounts from 20 members. The two men then used these accounts to deposit fake checks from other banks, withdrawing more than $20,000 over six weeks. Read the full story here.

Police arrested the two men and charged them with multiple fraud charges. The members may not have realized they were committing a felony—they just saw it as a way to make quick money. Now they are also facing charges and possible prison time.

The best defense is a good offense. Here are a few tips for protecting your credit union and your members against social media scams:

  • Keep credit union members informed of potential scams through social media, online resources (like this page from NASA Federal Credit Union) and even in-branch signage.
  • Regularly create content that emphasizes security and safety. For example, once every two weeks you could create a Facebook post that warns members of unsolicited messages asking to buy their accounts and the repercussions of this act.
  • Set up Google alerts for your credit union. Whenever an article or blog post about your credit union is published online, an alert will be emailed to you.
  • Create a column or stream with your social media scheduling apps (Tweetdeck or Hootsuite) to keep tabs on public mentions of your credit union. Don’t have a scheduling app? Search for mentions on
  • Hold free classes on scam protection for members. The classes could cover examples of past scams and the repercussions.

Questions? Please direct fraud specific questions to MCUA’s Compliance department via email or 800.446.3620. If you have concerns about social media, please contact Nora Holloway, MCUA PR and Online Community director, via email or phone, 800.392.3074, ext. 1349.





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