Approximately 60 Williams Lake and District Credit Union members recently experienced cyber fraud attempts on their accounts.
In most cases robust security controls identified the fraud, the transaction was stopped, and funds were returned to the members’ accounts, the WLDCU noted in a press release Tuesday.
“Cyber fraud is a growing challenge for all financial institutions,” said Jim Zimmerman, WLDCU CEO. ”The community of cyber thieves never rests.”
Zimmerman said cyber thieves develop a software and a robot goes into a financial institution’s website, randomly guesses account numbers and then uses a password of 12345 or 54321.
“If someone was foolish enough to use that as a password, they get in,” Zimmerman said, noting sometimes hackers will put viruses on people’s home computers and access passwords that way too.
Zimmerman said the credit union advises members to be vigilant by ensuring passwords are strong; monitoring accounts and immediately notifying the branch of any suspicious activity; and never clicking on links that ask for personal information.
For privacy reasons the Credit Union will not divulge individual member transactions; however, where there is proven fraud, members will be appropriately reimbursed.
Zimmerman said it is the first time the credit union has seen this particular cyber fraud.
“It seems to have been used quite a bit in Canada in the last few months. It appears somebody wrote a new program and people are using it.”
The Williams Lake and District Credit Union has been serving members since 1952 with branches in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Bella Coola.