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MnCUN state organizations launch fraud campaign
ST. PAUL, Minn. (11/25/08)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) has teamed up with organizations around the state to launch a fraud prevention campaign, the MnScams campaign.
Minnesota Credit Union Network and the Minnesota Fraud Enforcement Partnership participated in a press conference Friday launching the group's anti-fraud campaign. Speaking is Renee, a fraud victim, who warned consumers about techniques scammers use. (Photo provided by the Minnesota Credit Union Network)
The campaign was announced at a press conference Friday. With the theme, "No More Minnesota Nice," it will work to reduce fraud in Minnesota by educating citizens on how to recognize and report scams. The campaign was created by the Minnesota Fraud Enforcement Partnership, comprised of a network of state organizations, including MnCUN, banks, law enforcement agencies, and community groups. The partners will use a website, posters, brochures, table tents and other materials to educate Minnesotans about fraud. "Authorities will do as much as we can to help recover lost funds from fraud cases, but citizens truly must be the primary enforcers in fraud cases," said John Willems, director of the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Department of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. “This effort will educate citizens and give them the tools they need to recognize fraud from the start,” he said. At the press conference, Renee, a fraud victim, shared how scammers used daily phone calls to gain her trust and develop a relationship with her. Through these communications, the scammers convinced her to send funds to redeem lottery monies she had supposedly won. In the end the criminals stole about $170,000 from her. "If you’ve won something, you don’t have to send money to claim your prize,” Renee advised other Minnesotans. “Don’t allow this to happen to you. Talk to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety [if you think you’re being scammed].” MnCUN will involve credit unions in the campaign and assist them in learning how to identify mass-marketing scams, the negative impact these schemes have on financial institutions, and how to report a fraud. The network also will distribute fraud education materials to credit unions to be placed in branches and disseminated to members. Every day scammers target thousands of Minnesota consumers in hopes that they will fall for the scams,” said Mark D. Cummins, MnCUN president/CEO. “Right now there is a great need for fraud education, and the need will only continue to grow as the economy continues to struggle. For that reason, the Minnesota Credit Union Network is committed to working with credit unions to educate consumers about how to identify and report scams,” Cummins said. Since September 2007, MnCUN has been a member the Minnesota Fraud Enforcement Partnership, the first enforcement program of its kind in the U.S. The collaboration consists of a variety of state and community organizations working to reduce Minnesotans’ losses from fraudulent sweepstakes, lottery schemes, and mass-marketing frauds.
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