Account Activation Text Scam
June 10, 2014
Fraudulent text messages are being sent to consumers around the country in an effort to steal personally identifiable information. Financial institutions have reported an increased volume in these fraudulent messages since May 22, 2014. Mass text broadcasts are commonly used by fraudsters to reach large audiences of potential victims. This scam is quite common and often operates simultaneously in multiple states.
- Automated texts are being broadcast that warn consumers to call certain numbers to reactivate their payment cards. A recent text example: "Federal Credit Union ALERT: Your CheckCard has been temporarily LOCKED. Please call Card Services line (407) 574-2992".
- Text messages do not reference a particular institution but they may vaguely refer to a credit union or bank.
- Additional originating text numbers for this recent scam include: 786-300-2335 and 971-208-9936 but fraudsters regularly originate new numbers.
- Text messages may also originate from Jamaican area code 876 which is easily confused by consumers with a toll free number.
Suggestions for Ascentra Members:
- Ascentra does not notify its members via text message if there is a problem with their credit or debit card, so never call a phone number provided in a text message referencing your card.
- You do not need to contact Ascentra if you receive a text message like the example above (notice that it does not specifically mention Ascentra). Please contact us if you ever receive a text message regarding a problem with your debit or credit card that specifically mentions Ascentra.
- If you ever receive an email, text message, pre-recorded phone call, or phone call from a person claiming to be from Ascentra (or any other company you do business with), be very careful about providing any information about yourself. To be safe it’s typically safest for you to look up the publicly listed phone number for Ascentra (or any other company you do business with), and call that number yourself to inquire if the email, test, or phone call is legitimate.
Beware of Automated Call Scam
September 26, 2013
There have been reports of Ascentra members and others in our area receiving automated calls from a phone number 5595 and 5552 stating that their card has been deactivated. Then it prompts them to enter in the card number, PIN number, and sometimes Social Security numbers. In one case the call said it was coming from "National Credit Union Security."
Ascentra does not contact members in this way as we already have this type of information. If you receive this kind of call DO NOT provide the information requested. If you have received this call and entered any of these numbers number please call us immediately at 563-355-0152 Ext. 0.
Don't Touch That Wire! Money Transfer Scams
- Work at Home Scams: The ad says you can be your own boss as a “secret shopper” who evaluates a money transfer company’s customer service. Someone sends you a cashier’s check. You’re supposed to cash it, wire a lesser amount, and keep some for yourself for your time and efforts. Although the check appears to be legitimate, days later you find out it isn't—and your bank holds you responsible for the lost funds.
- Lottery & Sweepstakes Scams: Someone contacts you by phone, through the mail, or via the Internet, and claims that you've won a lottery or contest. You’re supposed to deposit a check and pay a processing fee or taxes through a wire transfer. Again, the check may appear legitimate—but you’ll soon find out it isn't and you’re on the hook with your bank for the lost money.
- “Grandparent” Scams: A frantic caller—who tries to convince you they’re a relative, government official, or even a defense lawyer—says there’s been an accident, incident or misunderstanding that landed your loved one in jail, the hospital or some other sort of jam. They tell you they need you to wire money immediately. No matter how bad it sounds, take time to verify the story. Ask personal questions that only your loved one would know. Try to contact other family members, a close friend, or even law enforcement to help you gather the facts.
- Overpayment Scams: Someone responds to an ad you placed, writes a check for more than you asked for, and asks for you to wire the difference (or they may say they have reconsidered and want you to deposit their check and wire a refund). The check will bounce and you will be out the money.
- Rental Scams: You respond to an ad that advertises a place to rent for a very low price. The “landlord” claims they are out of the country on business or missionary work. You wire them the first and last month’s rent. They’re gone, your money is gone, and so, too, is the place you wanted to rent (which wasn't theirs to rent to begin with). You should only deal with local landlords, be suspicious of below-market rental rates, and don’t wire money.