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Phone scam targets local residents

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Gazette Staff
July 23, 2008
— Blackhawk Community Credit Union became aware Tuesday of a telephone scam targeting residents in the Rock County area.

The ploy involved automated phone calls to individuals, businesses and organizations encouraging them to dial a specific phone number and provide personal information.


The credit union began receiving calls from members late in the morning. Members reported receiving an automated message indicating their card had been suspended and they needed to call the “Blackhawk Community Credit Union Security Department” to re-activate the card. Dialing the Iowa-based number led to an automated-response system, which asked the caller to enter personal information to re-activate their card.


Shortly after word of the scam spread, the target shifted to members of a Michigan-based credit union.


“This shift, along with the fact that both members and non-members were contacted, clearly shows there was no credit union security breach” said Blackhawk Community Credit Union President/CEO Bob Carmichael. “More likely, the thieves got a hold of some type of phone list and decided to use BHCCU as their target of choice.”


While the 515 area code was an indication that the call was bogus, it is unclear how many residents called the number and provided information.


Carmichael reminds consumers of several key points:


-- No financial institution would ever generate automated telephone calls to alert you to a problem with your account.


-- No financial institution would ever have you call a number and then ask for personal information, or have you call an automated system and then as you to enter personal information.


-- If you ever have questions or concerns about your account, either stop at a branch or call your financial institution using a phone number you know to be correct.


-- Anyone who called the number and provided personal information should contact their financial institution immediately.



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