Scam Alerts

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. 

Scam Details: 

  • 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

August 22, 2013

The stories are countless and convincing, but they all have something in common: a stranger or caller you think you know wants you to wire money through money transfer companies such as Western Union or MoneyGram. These stories often end the same way: you lost the money you wired.

Wiring money can be like leaving an envelope of cash on a table. Once you send money and a stranger picks it up, you can’t get it back. Recipients can almost always pick up the cash at multiple locations in foreign countries, making it very difficult—if not impossible—to trace.

Never wire money to someone you don’t know or haven’t met in person—even if you think you know the person who called you with a convincing story—even if it sounds like a personal emergency. Never agree to wiring money after depositing a check.

Common Wire 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.
If you wired money and fear or know you've been scammed, contact the wire transfer company immediately to report it. You can report suspected fraud to Western Union’s fraud hotline at 1-800-448-1492, or MoneyGram at 1-800-MONEYGRAM (1-800-666-3947). Unfortunately, it may be too late to stop or reverse the money transfer, but make every effort. You should also file a police report, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at If you live in Iowa, you can also file a complaint with the Iowa Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-888-777-4590, or visit

Text Scam Alert

May 14, 2013

There have been reports of a text message scam to members of Ascentra and other financial institutions. The number sending the text message is 909-281-3540. The text message states: “YOUR FCU & CU VISA CARD HAS BEEN SUSPENDED. PLEASE GO TO YOUR PERSONAL LINK TO UNBLOCK IT”.

If you receive a text message with this link do not click on it. If you recently responded to this type of text and provided information about yourself or your account please contact the credit union as soon as possible for assistance at our main phone number. Ascentra Credit Union will never use an automated text message to contact you and prompt for account or private information.

Beware of Phone Scam

February 28, 2013

There have been reports of a phone scam happening to members of Ascentra and other area financial institutions. The number on the caller ID is 404-499. Only those numbers showed on the caller ID screen. If you receive a call from this number do not answer. In some cases the recording asks the member to input their debit card number, last four numbers of their social security number, and the pin number to verify. 

If you recently responded to this type of call and provided information about yourself or your account please contact the credit union as soon as possible for assistance at our main phone number.

Beware of Credit Score/Monitoring Scam

January 14, 2013

Some members are reporting receiving pop-up web browser windows encouraging them to enroll in credit score service offered by a company named “Scoresense”. We believe these pop-up windows are being displayed using malicious software that may have been installed on your computer by an unknown party. Ascentra Credit Union is not affiliated with Scoresense in any way, and we cannot recommend to our members that you use their products & services. 

If you have experienced this on your computer we highly suggest that you update your antivirus software and scan your computer to hopefully be able to remove the malicious software (contact your antivirus software provider if you have questions about doing this).