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Scams continue targeting CUs consumers
MADISON, Wis. (1/14/09)--Jim Bishop, a member of Park View FCU, Harrisonburg, Va., was so busy preparing for the upcoming holiday season last December that he didn’t suspect anything was wrong when a scammer called him on Christmas Eve saying his account had been suspended. Bishop received the call at 3:30 p.m. Bishop was told his Visa account had been suspended, and was asked to verify his card information. Bishop, who was in the middle of wrapping gifts and preparing food, provided his personal information to the “legitimate”-sounding individual (RocktownWeekly.com Jan. 3). Shortly after hanging up, Bishop suspected that he had been duped. He quickly called Park View FCU, but received a recording that the credit union had closed at 3 p.m. for the holiday. Bishop reported his check card stolen, but worried that his accounts were at risk. He called a credit union employee, Kent Dayton, at his home. Dayton went to Park View’s head office and locked the accounts, and then called Bishop to verify that no money was taken. The day after Christmas, Bishop and his wife went to Park View to explain what had happened. The credit union assured them that they did not lose any money, and helped them apply for a new check card. The scam Bishop encountered is similar to other scams credit unions have reported across the nation. Members and nonmembers of Three Rivers FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Monroe County Community CU, Monroe County, Mich.; and Patriot FCU, Chambersburg, Pa., were called by scammers asking them to provide personal information to re-active credit cards (The Journal Gazette Jan. 7, MonroeNews.com Jan. 12, and The Public Opinion Jan. 13). Beaumont, Texas-area residents received text and voice messages from scammers pretending to be from MobilOil FCU on Jan. 6. The scammers told recipients to call a phone number, and when they did, they were asked to provide credit card numbers. Few MobilOil members responded to the calls, Gina Tweekrem, Mobiloil FCU president told The Beaumont Enterprise (Jan. 7). “Our members have really been smart,” she said. Cape Regional CU, Cape Girardeau, Mo., warned its members about an e-mail identity theft scam last week in it. Members received e-mails asking them to call a 1-800 phone number to reactivate their credit and debit cards (SEmissourian.com Jan. 4). The Maine Credit Union League also is warning credit union members to watch for suspicious e-mails asking them to re-activate ATM cards. The e-mail “looks real,” Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager for the league, told the Bangor Daily News (Jan. 2). “The e-mail is a scam,” he said. “It’s very scary.”
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