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How Alliant protects its members from fraud

A customer service rep in the call center who is trained in credit union security measures
September 23, 2015

By Pam Leibfried

We recently received an article suggestion from an Alliant member who wanted to know more about the credit union’s cybersecurity measures. In talking to members of our security team while researching the topic, however, I learned that sharing the specifics of security measures that are in place could potentially compromise the integrity of those security systems. Basically, information about the exact processes and systems we use for security could be helpful to fraudsters; hopefully, that helps you to understand why some of the information below is a bit vague. 

At Alliant, our mission is to look out for the best interest of our members, and part of that mission is to do everything in our power to protect the security of their accounts.

Vigilance 

Dedicated anti-fraud team. Alliant has teams dedicated to fraud prevention and cybersecurity. Team members monitor current threats and fraud schemes, then enact countermeasures to protect member security following industry best practices. 

Taking action in the breach. When a retailer data breach occurs, a cross-functional team of Alliant employees takes action:

  • Our credit card, debit card and checking teams diligently monitor the accounts of members whose cards were part of the retailer breach, looking for indications of fraud. 
  • Our communications team writes blog posts or other communications to keep our members updated on the latest developments
  • Our phone banking and branch team leaders ensure that Alliant Member Service Representatives have the latest information so they can advise affected members who call us or visit a branch.

Monitoring for suspicious activities. Our cybersecurity systems proactively monitor Alliant transactions for activities or patterns that may indicate that one of our members has become a victim of fraud. If suspicious activity is detected, Alliant takes action to protect the member. 

  • Please note: If someone calls you saying that they are from Alliant and that you have been the victim of fraud, do NOT give that person any login or security information. An Alliant employee who contacts you about an issue with an Alliant account will ask you to contact Alliant by calling our toll-free number or by using secure messaging within our online or mobile banking systems. If you get a legitimate call from our fraud team, know that we would NEVER ask you to share your login or security information with us during our initial contact. 

Training and alerts. All Alliant staff members receive training on how to recognize and thwart fraud. Even in my position on the Communications team – in a role that would never process any banking transaction – I received anti-fraud training as a new employee and have since attended ongoing training on how to recognize fraud. All employees receive alerts and notifications on new phishing schemes and malware. 

Policies to protect our members 

Online and mobile banking. Our online and mobile banking include security questions, an email verification process and device registration, all of which make it less likely that a fraudster can successfully log in to member accounts. 

Member reviews. If you’ve posted a review on our website, you know that there is a slight delay between when you submit the review and when it is posted online. That delay happens so we can ensure that the member review does not include any personal financial information that would compromise the security of the member who wrote it. (We also remove obscenities, but rest assured that we don’t edit your reviews otherwise…we really do want to know what you think, whether it’s about a great experience you had working with someone at Alliant or a frustration you have with one of our applications or processes.) 

Social media channels. Those of you who follow us on social media may have noticed that Alliant often responds to member questions by asking the member to send a follow-up message via the secure messaging system in Alliant Online Banking. We direct these conversations to this secure, non-public channel because any public back-and-forth on a specific account transaction could potentially reveal personal information about members that could make them vulnerable to fraudsters. 

Secure physical records. Alliant’s policies don’t just protect you online, either. At our offices, we protect our members’ personal information by securing any existing hard copies of member forms or other information. Even the undeliverable returned mail we get back from the post office is kept under lock and key until it is processed and shredded. 

Informing and educating members 

Alliant’s blog has a section that focuses on security issues. We know that the best way to help our members avoid fraud is to help them recognize it before they become victims. Articles in the Up Your Security IQ section educate our members on a variety of security topics. The Up Your Security section of our blog includes articles about phishing, malware, ATM fraud, credit card fraud and phone scams and have shared tips on how to set passwords that are more secure and less hackable.  

Thank you to Alliant member Jack for suggesting an article on the security measures Alliant takes to protect our members’ accounts. If you have an idea for a personal finance topic to be covered on our blog, please email us.