Navy Federal CU reacts to MSNBC credit card fraud story
VIENNA, Va.- Navy Federal Credit Union responded with a full-volley against charges that its members credit and debit cards were susceptible to fraud after an Internet Web site (CD Universe) was hacked and card numbers downloaded to another site. Online news service MSNBC accused NFCU of doing nothing to protect their members' cards, and that raised the hackles of the credit union's fraud and security experts. A European hacker still being sought by investigators, who tried to extort money from the the e-commerce site that sells music on the Net made good on a promise to list the card numbers, where they would be vulnerable to fraud. But Tom Steele, vice president of the CU's credit card division told Credit Union Times that of the 445,000 cards that were hacked, only 1,500 were NFCU members. When the initial break-in was reported by Visa and MasterCard authorities to their networked financial institutions in January, the CU ran all cards through their in-house fraud software and neural network operations (NFCU uses Falcon and other systems to check for irregular card usage). The result? "Nothing was going on," said Steele, therefore, he didn't think a total card reissue was necessary. "We always take appropriate action when necessary, and continually monitor for fraudulent activity, but we also do not want to unduly alarm our members. Likening the press-mess to a "tempest in a teapot," NFCU public relations manager Loren Moeller sprung into action, refuting the charges raised by MSNBC, which were based on an anonymous source. By day's end, the site reflected the lessened threat and presented the CU's version of events. The moral of the story, she said, was for CUs to monitor news sources, prepare a response quickly, and refute the charges with facts.