Beware of Call Spoofing
In recent months, we have seen an increase in the number of spoofing calls targeting Vantage West Credit Union Members. Here is some information to help protect yourself by identifying spoofing calls, and what to do if you are a victim of a spoofing scam.
In a spoofing call, fraudsters mimic the phone number of credit unions and other financial institutions and pretend to help you avoid the very scam they are trying to commit. In these calls, scammers attempt to steal your credit or debit card information and online banking credentials.
How Spoofing Calls Typically Work
Fraudsters know that first impressions matter. That’s why they spoof a Vantage West phone number or send a text message that makes it look like they represent Vantage West Credit Union.
Next, attackers prey on the fears of their victims. In the case of Vantage West impersonators, they allege suspicious activity on a credit card or debit card. This may include asking a Member to verify a fictitious transaction, a pending withdrawal, ,or even claim that the account is locked. When the Member disputes the fictitious charge or issue, the fraudsters assure they can help.
By asking the Member to verify their account, scammers then collect confidential account and card information that can be used to commit fraud.
Red Flags of a Spoofing Scam
Fortunately, there are best practices that can help keep you from falling victim to this scam.
If someone calls you reporting suspicious activity on your VWCU credit or debit card or account, keep these tips in mind:
- Vantage West will NOT ask for your PIN number.
- Vantage West will NOT ask for the three-digit security code on the back of the card.
- Vantage West will NOT ask you for a verification code texted to your phone. (Please note that text message verification codes are always sent for your private use. The text messages themselves state not to share the code with anyone, and that includes Visa or Vantage West representatives.)
- If a caller makes you feel suspicious or unsure, hang up and call Vantage West at 800.888.7882, contact us through Live Chat, or stop by a branch.
What to do if you are a victim of a spoofing scam
Vantage West is here to help you. If you believe you are a victim of a spoofing scam, reach out to us immediately at 800.888.7882 or stop by a branch to file a fraud claim.
Victims are also encouraged to file a complaint with organizations that protect consumers and prosecute scammers for their crimes. Spoofed calls can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission and to the Federal Communications Commission. These agencies have the authority to enforce federal laws that regulate caller ID spoofing, autodialed calls, and interstate fraud perpetrated over the phone. They may not be able to investigate individual cases, but reports can help them collect evidence for lawsuits against scammers.