Phishers have always used email to bait victims– now they’ve added text messaging to their virtual tacklebox.

Since Karen has nicely highlighted the things you can do to protect your Visa credit and debit card, I thought I’d share two of the latest scams that we’ve heard of over the past week or so.
The first is an email that supposedly comes from Visa. It targets Visa credit card owners and the sender’s email address is “activate@verified.visa.com.” The email is HTML and exploits the Verified By Visa service that allows you to create a password for your Visa card for purposes of making purchases online. To read more about it, you can visit Anti-Phishing Working Group’s website or click on this link to go directly to the description of the scam.

The other scam involves text messages. An automated text message refers to “Co-Op Services Credit Union Customer Services Department” from a 4-digit phone number of 3693.

The text message indicates that the member’s credit card or debit card has unusual activity on their account and in order to restore the member’s account access, the message asks the member to call 813-600-1551 and enter their 16-digit credit or debit card along with three additional pieces of information that is linked to the member’s account.

First of all, Co-Op Financial Services (a vendor we partner with) would never refer to themselves as the CO-OP Services Credit Union Customer Services and they do not send text messages to cardholders about their accounts. When their staff makes or receives calls from cardholders, they identify themselves as “Card Member Security Department.” Plus, we have this information already—why would we ask you to enter your account numbers in their entirety on an unsecure phone line? We wouldn’t.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep saying it: Verity does not ask for personal account information from its members via email or text. Don’t open emails from senders you do not recognize and for Pete’s sake, don’t click on any links within those emails.

If you ever receive a Verity-branded email, text message or other communication that doesn’t seem right to you, let us know, call us. If you accidentally clicked on one of those links and gave up some personal information, call us RIGHT AWAY. Call Member Services at (800) 444-4589 and verify it.

In this day and age, your identity and the accounts associated with it are worth protecting vigilantly.

Laurel McJannet

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