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Imposter Scams: What Credit Union Members Should Know

Imposter Scams: What Credit Union Members Should Know
Imposter Scams: What Credit Union Members Should Know

Imposter Scams: What Credit Union Members Should Know

Fraud schemes can take root wherever there is fertile financial ground. This might explain why imposter scams didn’t take long to pop up like pesky weeds at credit unions nationwide. Members have received phone calls, emails, and text messages that seem to originate from their financial institution. Only after sharing confidential information do they discover that it was a scammer pretending to be a credit union employee.

Here’s what you should know to keep your finances safe from these deceptive practices.


What’s an Imposter Scam?

An imposter scam is a fraud scheme that uses spoofing techniques to convince the target that they are communicating with a trusted individual or business. For example, crooks impersonate credit union employees to get members to feel comfortable sharing login credentials or other private financial account details. If the member shares this information, the scammer can use it to access accounts and withdraw funds.


How to Recognize a Credit Union Imposter Scam

Typical scenarios involve the scammer alerting the member to suspicious card activity. The communication is often sent via email (phishing) or text message (smishing). It might even include “Beacon Federal Credit Union Fraud Department” in the message. The phony alert claims the member must respond with their card’s PIN, CV2 code, or other private details before they can use the card again.


Crooks will also call the member on their landline or mobile device pretending to be a credit union customer service representative. They might use a spoofed phone number so the caller ID reads “Beacon Federal Credit Union.” The scammer will falsely claim they need to discuss an important account matter but must first verify the member’s identity using some or all of the member’s online banking credentials, including the temporary passcode sent to the member’s phone.


How Members Can Avoid Imposter Scams

If the member provides the requested information via email, text, or live phone call, the scammer can make unauthorized charges or lock the member out of their account by changing the password. Either way, the member will likely discover funds are missing shortly after the communication ends. Do the following to protect your accounts:


  • Refuse to share private information via email or text message. Financial institutions do not ask members to send sensitive information via unsecured channels.
  • Ignore account alerts sent via email that require you to click on hyperlinks to learn more about the issue or to connect to the financial institution. The links might download malware to your device. Legitimate attempts to confirm credit or debit card activity only need a simple response (YES or NO) via text.
  • Hang up if someone you weren’t expecting contacts you requesting credit union account information, even if the caller ID reads “Beacon Federal Credit Union.”


If you suspect someone is trying to access your Beacon FCU account, call us at 281.471.1782 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., or 281.470.8925 after hours

About the author

Beacon Federal Credit Union

Beacon Federal Credit Union in Texas offers valuable banking products including checking accountssavings accountscredit cardspersonal loans, auto loansmortgages and much more.

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