Social Media's Role in Fraud Prevention

How Bank of the West Is Beefing Up Customer Awareness
Social Media's Role in Fraud Prevention
David Pollino
Because most online banking customers are active social media users, banking institutions should leverage social media in their fraud awareness campaigns, says David Pollino of Bank of the West, who's a featured speaker at the May 14 Fraud Summit Chicago.

As fraudsters' social-engineering tactics have evolved, it's become crucial for banking institutions to use social media to help customers understand emerging cyberthreats, says Pollino, Bank of the West's enterprise fraud prevention officer.

"It's critical for our customers to understand these issues to protect themselves," he says. "We've tried to make sure we've modified our education to ensure it's relevant in this day and age."

Bank of the West frequently uses Facebook and Twitter to post alerts about recent fraud trends and share insights from fraud and security experts within the bank, Pollino says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "Sometimes just the headline or getting the impression is enough to get the thoughts across," Pollino says.

Regulators want proof that banks are making their anti-fraud educational efforts relevant and effective, he stresses. The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, in its updated authentication guidance, issued expectations for customer education efforts, he notes.

"Really, the way our customers consume information today has changed with the advent of social media. ... So you have to be sure you have the content out there, but that you're also measuring it in a way that is relevant in 2014."

During this interview, Pollino discusses:

  • How Bank of the West measures the success of its social media educational campaigns;
  • Why getting buy-in from upper management, and ensuring executive teams are up to speed about customer awareness campaigns, is a critical to success;
  • How Bank of the West shared information with its customers about the Target Corp. attack, and news about online risks, such as the Heartbleed bug.

In addition to a presentation about customer education and awareness at the Fraud Summit Chicago, Pollino will participate in the summit's opening panel, which will review preliminary results from ISMG's annual Faces of Fraud survey. The summit also will feature a number of other presentations dealing with fraud prevention and emerging cyber-threats. For more information about the event, visit the registration page.

Pollino is a senior vice president at Bank of the West, where he has worked since 2011. Previously, he served as manager of online fraud-prevention strategy and analytics for Wells Fargo and was the online risk officer for Washington Mutual. He has a background in information security and combating online fraud. Pollino also is an information security author and conducts ongoing research on cybercrime techniques.

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