Skilled identity thieves use a variety of methods to gain access to your personal information. The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of common scams.
Recently, our members have reported and fallen victim to two new scams involving SMS text messaging, or “smishing,” and fraudulent IRS emails, or “phishing.”
Smishing Scam Alert
Credit Union members have reported receiving bogus text messages from “Credit Union Services.” The messages attempt to fool people into giving away private account information.
The “smishing” text message states the member’s debit or credit card has been blocked and asks the member to call a number provided in the message to have the card reactivated. Members who call the number are asked to provide their card number, PIN, security code and personal information in order to have the card reactivated.
Members should not respond to requests for financial or personal information via text message. Pacific Service CU will never ask you to provide information that could compromise your identity or accounts through text messaging or email.
Phishing Scam Alert
Members have also reported receiving fraudulent emails. The first purportedly comes from the IRS. These “phishing” messages are designed to look like official IRS communications and direct the recipient click on a link to a “tax statement.”
The second recent fraudulent email appears to come from a pacificservice.org email address, however, the email is signed from the “Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” or FDIC.
The links contained within the emails, if downloaded, contain malicious code that will infect the recipient’s computer.
Members should never click on links or download attachments contained within emails from an unverified source.
The IRS or the FDIC does not initiate communications via email. Protect yourself by ignoring all unsolicited emails asking you to provide personal or financial information. To protect your personal information, contact Pacific Service CU immediately for assistance if you have disclosed your information in response to an email, text message or telephone scam.
By Jenna, Vice President, Operations