[October 16, 2008 – Nashville, TN] BBB warns consumers about a new 'phishing' scam con artists are using to steal personal and financial information.
Consumers calling BBB have indicated they received a text message on their cell phone which states "Your SOUTHEAST FINANCIAL FCU account is closed due to unusual activity. Call us now at 888.554.6426 or 888.391.4771." The message appears to come from Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union, a legitimate Nashville financial institution. BBB called the phone numbers provided in the text message and found the recording is requesting three pieces of information. It first asks for the consumer's 16 digit credit card account number. Once the account number is entered the recording repeats itself and never moves forward with requests of the other two pieces of information.
BBB contacted Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union to alert them about this activity. The Credit Union notified BBB they have issued an alert to its union and community members stating this text message is fraudulent and did not come from their organization. They further indicated their client's accounts are safe and it would never be their policy to request personal information they already have. Consumers who have questions or concerns about their Southeast Financial Federal Credit Union accounts are encouraged to contact the Credit Union at 615.743.3700 or toll-free at 800-521.9653.
Phishing is a term coined by computer hackers, who use e-mail and, most recently, cell phones to "fish" consumers hoping to "hook" recipients into giving them logins, passwords and/or other sensitive information. In all these scams, the phisher first impersonates a legitimate company. In a typical scam, the phisher instructs recipients to call a number or click on a convenient internet link to receive or provide information that can then be used by phishers to access the recipient sensitive personal or business information and commit identity theft.
BBB advises consumers to NEVER give personal information to parties you are unfamiliar with, and to keep in mind your bank, credit card company or other financial institution would never ask for personal information they already have on file.
For more information about phishing and for tips to avert other scams, please visit www.bbb.org
The BBB of Nashville was founded in 1961 as a non-profit Tennessee organization serving 38 counties in Middle Tennessee and 7 counties in Southern Kentucky. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Serving as the 'ethical gatepost' of our communities, BBB fosters and promotes ethical business practices and self-regulation standards that build consumer trust in the marketplace. BBB services include business reliability information, complaint resolution services and consumer and business educational information. In 2007 BBB Nashville handled over 3.2 million services requests via our web site www.nashville.bbb.org
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