For more than two decades, Lee Byrd, head of Enterprise Fraud for Regions, has been leading technology and fighting fraud. With increasing prevalence, a focus on fraud prevention is critical to protect customers. At Regions, Byrd explains that the company uses a combination of technology and data to detect and stop financial fraud.
“We use tools to identify fraudulent phone calls and suspicious devices,” states Byrd. But it’s also about the data – trying to detect positive and negative signals and recognize patterns. As an example, Byrd notes that he is an avid fisherman, and often makes two back-to-back purchases at a gas station in order to fill up both his car and boat. While that back-to-back purchase typically signals a likely fraudulent activity, it’s a normal activity for Byrd. Regions systems work to learn those patterns in order to recognize legitimate purchases versus fraud when it comes to customer activity. “It’s always a balance in fraud between client experience and detecting those fraudulent activities,” says Byrd.
In addition to tools and technology, Byrd believes in educating customers and the community on best practices for safeguarding your information. Here are his top five tips for avoiding financial fraud.
- Turn on alerts for your accounts. Regions offers alerts that can notify you when your card is used, when your balance reaches a certain threshold, when a check is cleared and more. Byrd notes that alerts are important because they let you know immediately what activities are going on in your accounts.
- Use a unique User ID and password for each of your accounts. “It’s human nature to want to keep life simple and use the same user ID and password across all your accounts, Facebook and Instagram,” says Byrd. However, if a fraudster obtains your login information for one of your social media accounts, “one of the first things they’ll try to do is use that user ID and password on your financial institution accounts.”
- Sign up for credit bureau notifications. By doing so, “if somebody uses your personal information to pull credit, you’ll immediately know and you can reach out to that company to let them know you didn’t apply for that loan or that account, whatever it is,” states Byrd.
- Don’t give out information over the phone. If someone calls you claiming to be from Regions or another financial institution and asks for your Social Security Number, date of birth, or other personal information, Byrd encourages you to refuse to answer them and then hang up and call a known number from the website or the back of your credit or debit card.
- Don’t take surveys on social media. “You see all those surveys on Facebook—answer these top ten questions about your relationship or about your life: What is your pet? Where did you meet your spouse? Where were you born? A lot of those questions are the same questions that other institutions use for your challenge questions,” explains Byrd. “And fraudsters will absolutely use those to answer your challenge questions for you if they get access to your user ID and password.”
If you’re curious as to what types of fraud are most common today, the answer might surprise you. Listen in as Byrd shares the two kinds of fraud he sees most often.
For more resources on how to identify, prevent, and report financial fraud, visit regions.com.
The information presented is general in nature and should not be considered, legal, accounting or tax advice. Regions reminds its customers that they should be vigilant about fraud and security and that they are responsible for taking action to protect their computer systems. Fraud prevention requires a continuous review of your policies and practices, as the threat evolves daily. There is no guarantee that all fraudulent transactions will be prevented or that related financial losses will not occur. Visit regions.com/STOPFRAUD, or speak with your Banker for further information on how you can help prevent fraud.