Blocked Credit Union Account: Phone Scam Overview
A growing number of Americans are joining credit unions. Credit unions are different from banks in that they are not-for-profit and every person with account becomes an owner. Unlike banks where there are customers and shareholders, in a credit union the customers are actually members and have a say in electing board members that will serve their interests.
Scammers spotting the potential for fraud have started to use some of the more traditional scams that they used on bank customer on credit union members. Learn more about the blocked credit union account scam and how to avoid it.
How Does the Blocked Credit Union Account Phone Scam Work?
There are several variations of credit union scams, each is unique, but they all have the same aim of stealing your money and personal information.
You receive a call coming from what appears to be your credit union. The caller will claim that there’s been an issue with your account and they need to ask you a few security questions. The caller will proceed to ask for sensitive personal and financial information. In many cases the caller will use caller ID spoofing to make it seem as if they are actually calling from your credit union.
Text Message Scams
In this scenario, you’ll receive a text alerting you to an issue with your credit union account. The text will usually include an toll-free 800 number to call back or a URL to click. Calling this number will only put you on the line with a scammer who will proceed to ask you for your personal and financial information. The URL will usually lead to a phishing site or it will be a malware link that will infect your phone.
Warning Signs of a Credit Union Scam
How can you protect yourself from one of these scams? Follow these guidelines.
Look up the phone number.
Never call a phone number without verifying it first. In the case of a text message with a number to call, look up both the number the text message came from and the number it's telling you to call. You can also look up your credit union’s number that appears on their official website and ask them directly about any issues with your account.
Log into your credit union account.
Don't panic and assume that your credit union account was blocked just because of text message told you. Before calling any numbers or clicking any links first go to your credit union’s website and try to log in. If there are any alerts they should appear on your online account. If you really do have any problems with your account, you should visit your credit union in person or call them directly. You'll know who you're talking to, so you won't risk falling victim to a scam.
How to Report the Scam
If you’ve been targeted by a block credit union account scam you should first report it to your credit union. They’ll be able to warn other members about the current situation. After informing your credit union you can report the number to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
To warn others in your community about this scam you can also download our caller ID app for iPhone. You can leave your feedback on any scamming number for others to see. If you don’t have an iPhone you can still leave feedback on numbers via our online yellow pages.