CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: How to identify a scammer posing as a financial institution

Financial scammers are becoming more and more adept
Updated: Jan. 22, 2023 at 6:02 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Scammers are becoming more adept at posing as financial institutions.

The scammers call or text potential victims and try to convince them they are victims of credit card fraud.

Heidi Kiecker, fraud officer at Fox Communities Credit Union, tells Consumer First Alert they’re hearing reports of the scam locally.

“It gets very real for consumers and hard for them to discern, ‘Is this really legitimate or is this a scam?’”

Kiecker says these texts and calls can appear to be legitimate fraud alerts from your credit union, bank, or credit card company.

“Spoofing the phone number of the financial, making it look to the consumer that it is their financial contacting them about a fraudulent transaction on their account, and they’re asking, ‘well did you do this? Do you recognize this charge or transaction and of course, the consumer is saying ‘no.’ Then immediately someone follows up the scammer acting as the financial to then speak to the consumer, asking to confirm their credit card number, debit card number, social security, or their account number, any information the consumer is willing to give is what they’re getting. And I will just say, at least from our financial, we would never ask for your full card or account number. We already have that information,” says Kiecker.

Kiecker says you should hang up and call your financial institution directly.

“Please don’t feel embarrassed. You’re not alone, speaking from us as a financial. We’re here to help you. We don’t judge. Just let us know what happened and tell us details so we can help make sure to protect you and your assets,” says Kiecker.

BORDER PATROL SCAM

The Appleton Police Department says someone is impersonating a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol member.

The scammers use a real agent’s LinkedIn profile and threaten legal action.

“No one ever wants to feel like they’re breaking the law or breaking rules and they want to abide by the law. So it’s a very common tactic to impersonate some government official.”