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66 FCU shuts down fraudulent sites phone numbers
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (7/11/08)--66 FCU, Bartlesville, Okla., has submitted more than 45 websites and 40 phone numbers to be shut down by servers after scammers sent mass e-mails and text messages, and called members of the credit union asking for personal financial information. Of the credit union’s 47,000 members, 20 responded to the scammers through e-mail and phone. A total of $15,000 was withdrawn from members’ accounts, and the transactions were traced back to Chile, Romania and Spain, Chris Berger, 66 FCU director of marketing, told News Now. 66 has blocked transactions from those countries on members’ accounts. If members are traveling to those countries, they can contact the credit union and ask to have the block lifted, Berger said. The credit union sent e-mails to members about the scams. It also posted examples of fraudulent e-mail on its website--a “small percentage” compared to the total number of e-mails circulating, Berger said. “We try to post as many new ones as possible.” 66 has been affected by e-mail scams before, but this is the first time it has been hit by vishers and fraudulent text messaging. “We were prepared for both,” Berger said. “Nobody responded to the text messages.” The credit union reminded its members that it would never call them or send e-mails with links. 66 also is warning members against using numbers that have an outside area code to call the credit union. 66 has shut down several hundred websites because of scams in the past. The credit union may be targeted because it is prominent in the community, he said. It serves select employee groups--about 60% of Bartlesville, Berger said. Scammers called 90% of the population of Bartlesville--anyone with a 333 telephone prefix. “The fraud entities are getting smarter all the time,” he said. Berger noted that some members are concerned that 66’s data were compromised. Members should be reassured that their data is safe, said Marty O’Connell, 66 FCU chief information officer. “If our database was in fact compromised, then there would be no need for these criminals to send out fraudulent messages, since they would already have all the information that they are requesting.” The credit union encourages members who have been contacted by the scammers to report them. Individuals who suffer losses should file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at https://complaint.ic3.gov, and call 800-VISA-911 to review and block transactions on their credit card.
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