Carolina Foothills is aware of a text message scam circulating again in our area. The message says "Federal Credit Union ALERT: Your VISA CheckCard has been DEACTIVATED. Please call our 24hrs line (864) 392-9004.” We would like to make sure that all members know that we will never text, email or call you and ask your information that we already have on file. These scams are called Smishing and Vishing. The FBI best describes Smishing and Vishing:
“Here’s how smishing and vishing scams work: criminals set up an automated dialing system to text or call people in a particular region or area code (or sometimes they use stolen customer phone numbers from banks or credit unions). The victims receive messages like: “There’s a problem with your account,” or “Your ATM card needs to be reactivated,” and are directed to a phone number or website asking for personal information. Armed with that information, criminals can steal from victims’ bank accounts, charge purchases on their charge cards, create a phony ATM card, etc.
Sometimes, if a victim logs onto one of the phony websites with a smartphone, they could also end up downloading malicious software that could give criminals access to anything on the phone. With the growth of mobile banking and the ability to conduct financial transactions online, smishing and vishing attacks may become even more attractive and lucrative for cyber criminals.”
We don’t want our members to fall victim to these criminals so below you will find some tips to keep yourself from becoming a victim of these scams.
IC3 Tips to Protect Yourself from Cyber Scams
- - Don’t respond to text messages or automated voice messages from unknown or blocked numbers on your mobile phone.
- - Treat your mobile phone like you would your computer…don’t download anything unless you trust the source.
- - When buying online, use a legitimate payment service and always use a credit card because charges can be disputed if you don’t receive what you ordered or find unauthorized charges on your card.
- - Check each seller’s rating and feedback along with the dates the feedback was posted. Be wary of a seller with a 100 percent positive feedback score, with a low number of feedback postings, or with all feedback posted around the same date.
- - Don’t respond to unsolicited e-mails (or texts or phone calls, for that matter) requesting personal information, and never click on links or attachments contained within unsolicited e-mails. If you want to go to a merchant’s website, type their URL directly into your browser’s address bar.
Please let us know immediately if you believe you have become a victim of smishing, vishing or any sort of identity theft, to minimize the damage the criminals can do. Also if you have our new Secure Rewards Checking you have an even better tool to combat identity theft with Card protection and Fraud Defender. If you don’t have this account, ask your local branch about opening one for you! Thank you for being a member of Carolina Foothills Federal Credit Union.
*information obtained from the FBI website, www.fbi.gov