Six More Banks, Credit Unions Hit in Phone Scam

Hawaii, Wisconsin Institutions Latest to be Targeted by Fraudsters Banking customers in two additional states have been hit by the telephone-based fraud scheme that already has struck institutions in several other states.

Customers of several banks and at least one credit union in southeastern Wisconsin, as well as one credit union in Hawaii, report receiving automated phone messages that appear to be coming from their institution, telling them their debit card has been compromised. It then prompts the customer to enter their card information.

Hawaii Central Credit Union in Honolulu, HI reports that its customers received the automated messages asking for account information last week. Citizens Bank of Mukwonago, Park Bank in Milwaukee, Burlington's First Banking Center, Maritime Savings Bank and Educators Credit Union are among Wisconsin financial institutions that have reported such calls since October 24, says Debby Bartolerio, security officer for Citizens Bank of Mukwonago.

If data is given to the scammers, they use it to tap bank accounts or make online purchases. The technology-savvy thieves mask their identities and are very difficult for authorities to catch, Bartolerio says.

The fraudulent calls can sound convincing and prey on people's tendency to act quickly to help resolve the issue. Two years ago over Thanksgiving weekend, a similar phone scam was eventually traced to thieves in Spain who placed about 40,000 calls in Manitowoc County, WI and persuaded some customers of Bank First National, Manitowoc, WI to give up account information.

About the Author

Linda McGlasson

Linda McGlasson

Managing Editor

Linda McGlasson is a seasoned writer and editor with 20 years of experience in writing for corporations, business publications and newspapers. She has worked in the Financial Services industry for more than 12 years. Most recently Linda headed information security awareness and training and the Computer Incident Response Team for Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the NYSE Group (NYX). As part of her role she developed infosec policy, developed new awareness testing and led the company's incident response team. In the last two years she's been involved with the Financial Services Information Sharing Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), editing its quarterly member newsletter and identifying speakers for member meetings.

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