Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Debit card scammers target credit union customers

West Virginia-based Star USA Credit Union is warning members about a scam in which customers have received an automated telephone message requesting debit card account information.

Credit union members received the call from scammers. The automated message alleges that customers' ATM/debit cards have been deactivated, and they must reveal account information and a three-digit security code (located on the back of the debit card) to reactivate it.

"They're asking for account information and personal information," said Steve Hewitt, Star USA vice president and spokesman. "They're identifying that the card has been compromised and needs to be reissued."

Star USA is urging members -- and anyone else with a debit or credit card -- not to release banking account and PIN numbers, or other personal information when receiving an unsolicited phone call.

Hewitt said more than a dozen credit union members, including a Star USA board member, have complained about the scam. No customers reported that they fell for the scam, he said.

Hewitt said the scam might be widespread and affect other area credit unions and banks. After speaking with the credit union's insurance carrier, Hewitt learned that a similar scam has been going on in Huntington and other parts of the country. It's often difficult for law enforcement to track down the scammers, many of whom call from outside the U.S., Hewitt said.

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