Text Message Scams - Your Credit Card Deactivated
From: 317-550-9293: FIREFIGHTERS C.U. Alert: Your CARD starting 4311 has been DEACTIVATED. Please contact us at 317-550-9258.
FEB 10 8:43PM
That's the message I received on my cell phone last night. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got...until I ended up thinking about a hub that needed to be written.
Let me give you the skinny on this scam. I am a member of a credit union. I WORK at the credit union. It is not Firefighters C.U. So, the reason this makes me angry is because many people would have called that number to find out why their credit card had been deactivated thinking it was a legitimate message from the creditor.
Since I work at credit union, I know we didn't send this message out nor would we ever send a text message out to our members like this. For one, we don't have the technology. Maybe if you are with a large bank or a very large credit union, they might have the technology and they might consider the expense involved in sending those kind of text messages. We are a small credit union and anything that costs us money has to be funded by the members of the credit union.
Check In With Common Sense
The scam artist are getting so unscrupulous, it is difficult to sort the good guys from the bad guys half the time. I just heard last week that the new scam being reported in the news with credit cards is the invent of technology that allows a thief to scan you card while it is tucked away in your wallet. They don't even have to see the card or handle it anymore to get the codes off the card. Who thinks up this stuff?
The best rule of thumb is to check in with your own common sense. If you get a letter in the mail stating that you need to call them and talk about your current credit card....pull out your credit card statement and call them from a number off of the bill. Do not respond to e-mails regarding your account and bad inquiries made on your behalf. Almost all of those are scams. Most banks will not contact you via e-mail and what you have received is a phishing scam.
It is not my intent to cover e-mail scams or phishing scams with this notice. My intent is to show you what is being done as THE latest scam. Look closely at the message.
1. They are using my local area code. This means, when you get that text message saying your card has been deactivated, chances are it will be coming from your local city with a call back number.
2. The second part to notice is that they have given me an invalid credit card since I don't have an account at Firefighters C.U. but since I work in a credit union, they have gotten a list from somewhere and were counting on the possibility that I might panic and call to see what the problem is with my credit card.
3. The message clearly states that it is an issue with your card starting with 4311. That almost made me laugh, had I not been so pissed. All Visa cards start with 4.
- 3 - travel/entertainment cards (such as American Express and Diners Club)
- 4 - Visa
- 5 - MasterCard
- 6 - Discover Card
They simply make up a card beginning number that they already know will match your card knowing that most people will call first and check out the card later.
Always be very careful about giving out any information that relates to you personally. The obvious is your social security number, birthday, and city of birth. Unfortunately, we have this stuff plastered all over the internet...one of the hazards of our now socially networked world.
I put the full message here on purpose, including the telephone number because I am hoping they will get bombarded with legal calls. I am hoping the FBI, CIA, AFLCIO, PLO, NBA and any other organization on the planet gets their number and tracks these scammers down and puts them in jail.
Be warned. There is a new scam every day. This one is coming in on text messages. It gives the impression of being legitimate because they appear to be giving information we tend to think they shouldn't have. It makes me angry not only because they are scam artists but because they used one of my text messages to do it!