Earlier this year, a woman used fake IDs to steal money from credit union branches in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Texas and Florida.

The fraudster, who was believed to be part of an ID theft ring, made her visits from credit union branch to credit union branch over three months. What the woman did not know, however, was that someone was watching her. An analyst from the national fraud prevention initiative coordinated by the CO-OP Financial Services Shared Branch network was tracking her moves. CO-OP gathered branch security camera images of her and other information about how every fraud incident was being carried out. This information, along with her images, was posted on a bulletin and sent to credit unions in the shared branch network and their frontline employees.

Soon after that bulletin was distributed, a credit union teller in Illinois recognized the woman as she entered the branch. The teller contacted police who arrested the suspect of ID theft, which remains one of the largest crimes in the U.S. Every year, about 15 million people have their identities stolen.

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