Fraud Prevention Information

A fraudulent e-mail seeking credit card information (known as a "phishing fraud") has been circulating nationwide since 2 p.m. EST today. This fraudulent phishing email appears to be from NCUA and contains a link purportedly to obtain a subscription for the NCUA Express Subscription service. When that link is used, the recipient is directed to a "clone" of the NCUA Express Service site that seeks credit card information from those to whom the phish was sent. If you receive such an email, please ignore it, as it is fraudulent. The NCUA does NOT charge for the Express Subscription service and does NOT solicit credit card information over the Internet. If you have questions or comments, please contact the NCUA Fraud Hotline at 800-827-9650 or, during off duty hours, at 703-728-0700.

"Smishing" Scam Targets Credit Unions via Text Messaging

Credit unions across the country are reporting that their members are receiving unsolicited text messages. It's an attempt at Smishing, the latest form of phishing. In Smishing, an e-mail tries to lure a recipient into giving personal information via SMS, the communications protocol used to send text messages to a wireless device. The recent scam is targeting credit union and other financial institution members.

In smishing, the members receive a text message via cell phone, warning that their account has been closed due to suspicious activity. It then tells them they need to call a certain phone number to reactivate the account.

Unsuspecting callers who dial the number provided in the text message will be taken to an automated voice mail box that prompts them to key in their credit card or debit card number, expiration date, and PIN to verify their information.

If you have been a victim of this scam, take these steps immediately:

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, ask for a free copy of your credit report, and review those reports for evidence of accounts you didn't open. Fraud unit contacts are:

Equifax 800-525-6285

P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

www.equifax.com

Experian 888-397-3742

P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013

www.experian.com

TransUnion 800-680-7289

P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

www.transunion.com

  • Close accounts--including share drafts/checks or ATM cards--that have been tampered with or used fraudulently. Contact all financial institutions and lenders, credit card issuers, utility companies, and the Social Security Administration to notify them of the fraud. Follow up each conversation with a letter.
  • File a report with law enforcement and insist on getting a copy of the report or the report number.
  • File a complaint with the FTC. Visit this site for more information or call 877-IDTHEFT.

REMINDER: First Central does not contact members through SMS, text, or IM. If you receive such a message, DO NOT respond.