From rings of alleged thieves working together with an auto dealership and a police officer to get loans to buy cars to an equity skimming scheme used to buy luxury items, over the past few months, credit unions have been bilked in cases that end up costing millions of dollars in losses.

Fighting fraud has become such a top priority that 58% of 200 credit unions and banks said they will increases resources to thwart criminal activity, according to BankInfoSecurity's 2012 Faces of Fraud survey. This is up from 34% in 2010. Another 17% said they plan to spend between 10% and 20% more than they did last year.

Over the summer, cases involving auto and business loan scams seem to hit credit unions especially hard. In August, credit unions and other lenders were among those allegedly defrauded out of $16 million in a case involving the sale of and leaseback of several businesses, including Jiffy Lube stores, in four states.

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