WASHINGTON-Federal Bureau of Investigation Financial Institutions Fraud Unit Chief John V. Gillies wrote CUNA last month explaining that it has alerted its field offices to the concerns over schemes using fraudulent credit union fronts. The FBI's Dec. 16 letter, in response to one from CUNA in October, stated that the Financial Institution Fraud Unit has notified its field offices of the situation and included a fraud alert at www.fbi.gov. The alert warns the public of the fraudulent credit union advertisements offering loans for an upfront fee of $1,500 or asking for personal information for a loan then using that information for criminal purposes. "Nearly 2,500 FBI Agents around the country – and around the world – are working hard to prevent and catch these con-artists," Grant Ashley, who heads up the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, said in a statement. "Last year, we investigated more than 20,000 fraud cases of all kinds: insurance fraud, telemarketing fraud, securities fraud, health care fraud, and financial institution fraud. Those investigations led to the recovery or restitution of more than $10 billion of fraudulently stolen funds." The letter also stated that a number of their field offices had already received complaints including Little Rock, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Knoxville. Additionally, the St. Louis Office has begun a case regarding the use of the name `Century Credit Union.' NCUA Writer/Editor Molly Schar said the agency is continuing to work the case and is in contact with various law enforcement agencies.

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