Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fighting cybercrime

A recent OBA Update contained an article regarding the formation of an Information Security MAFIA networking group. As our Fraud Alerts are targeted to a large number of those who may want to participate, we decided to recap the information so that we include all those who want to take advantage of what promises to be a wonderful opportunity to help to keep our Oklahoma banks safe.

It goes without saying that cyber issues continue to be a critical component of our bankers’ and customers’ concerns. One of the best mitigations continues to be networking. To assist in this arena, the OBA is planning an ongoing information security/IT telephonic conference that will function like our local MAFIA meetings, therefore dubbed Information Security MAFIA.

With the exception of the first in-person planning meeting, this will likely be conducted by telephone conference, but we will listen to your preferences as we go forward. They will occur on a quarterly basis, but can be convened more frequently if the need arises. The Bankers Bank has been our planning partner, along with FBI Cyber Crime Division. The initial meeting will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 at the OBA’s Harris Event Center. Participants will sign a Vegas/Non-Disclosure agreement to encourage a free exchange of information within the group. Attendees should be your person or persons in charge of IT or, especially if you outsource your IT function, the operations person who deals with wires and/or ACH transactions.

Why should your bank participate? Cybercrime is here to stay and you don’t want to be the bank that is not engaged and informed on this important topic. Really, it’s just that simple.

What do you need to do? Send, or have your chosen bank representative(s) send, their name and contact information to to be placed on the invitation list. We will send more information as the date nears.

The inaugural meeting will be to plan mission and direction, some information sharing and roundtables or discussion on information security topics. The last portion will be dictated by numbers attending. We are inviting Oklahoma bankers at this time and may include others as time goes on, but that will also be dictated the members. You will have the chance to learn from and share with our great federal law enforcement partners. We continue to hear that our bankers would like to know how to better connect with FBI cyber and this is that opportunity.

To best meet the needs of our bankers, we are soliciting your input on what topics would be of interest. As always, any questions or great ideas can be addressed to Elaine Dodd at OBA at the aforementioned email address.

We are excited about this effort, as our IT bankers have often expressed that they feel like an island in the cyber jungle. How’s that for a seriously mixed metaphor?!

Senior protection

As featured in the July edition of the Oklahoma Banker, the FDIC and CFPB have developed a resource tool (Money Smart for Older Adults) to protect our seniors from financial exploitation. This is incredibly detailed and would form the basis for an excellent community program. You can download a Powerpoint presentation, scripted instruction guide and participant/resource guide at

If you want to order hard copies (at no charge), you can get them at the CFPB website for publications: We love this tool and have ordered a couple hundred to share with our bankers statewide.

Two quick fraud tidbits

1) A recent wire fraud attempt with one of our banks may have been made easier for the fraudsters by information gained from the out-of-office message of the banker. The cybercriminals were able to pinpoint and target the email of an assistant. When setting your outlook out-of-office message you should change the default checkbox from “anyone outside my organization” to “my contacts only”. That will limit your plans and organizational details to trusted partners.

2) Senior fraud that includes senior customers obtaining credit card cash advances seems to be an increasingly frequent red flag. Be watchful for those advances when it has not been the typical pattern for your customers, then be “politely nosey” with a few extra questions.