This week we have been the target of a text scam. Many residents in the Missoula area have received a text on their cell phone stating, “MissoulaFCU alert for member phone ###-#### Contact 914-###-####,” and another one that uses an 844 area code.
What we’ve learned is this is NOT targeted to just our members. Missoula residents that are not affiliated with Missoula Federal Credit Union are getting the same message. This indicates that the scam technique is to phish for information from a massive audience in hopes that they will trigger a response. The fraudster(s) used our name in the scam because we are a well-known local institution (lucky us!); it could have easily been any number of other institutions.
With the right computer apps fraudsters can send mass texts to a large range of cell phone numbers. For example, they can send a text to the range of 406-210-0000 to 406-219-9999 without knowing who the number belongs to. The three digits in the middle of the phone number are specific to a certain geographic area, making it easy to target a smaller area like Missoula.
There is no indication that there has been any breach of data at Missoula Federal Credit Union. We regularly test our systems for security. We take our members security and privacy seriously, and continually develop and test systems that protect your information.
Protect Yourself, Two Tips:
First, phishing attacks like this can be very confusing, even for the savviest of users. They can look and sound just like the Missoula Federal Credit Union. Ask yourself “Who initiated the conversation”?
If you started the conversation by contacting us you should have confidence that you can share the appropriate information to verify who you are. You are the initiator.
If you did NOT start the conversation, but were contacted like in this text scam, you should not provide personal information. You should break that chain of communication, and reach out to Missoula Federal Credit Union directly through our website, branches, or eBranch. This shifts the control of initiation back to you and takes control out of the fraudsters hands.
Second, utilize our online banking to use tools like alerts to track and manage everything from balances, transactions, and login attempts. These tools help keep you connected and engaged to your account information so you can quickly catch any suspicious activity. This document explains how to set up alerts; you can also find this document on our websites’ FAQ page.
What to do if you responded with your card information?
If you received the text message this week, called the number, and provided your card information please contact our eBranch immediately (406-523-3300) so our staff can assist you. Please note, it may take a while to answer your call, our phones have been very busy because of this scam. You can also login to Online Banking and contact us through our secure messaging system.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this scam. We hope our communication around this will help you feel better prepared to recognize future fraud attempts. Fraud is rampant in our world today, and we all need to be diligent in order to protect ourselves and each other.
If you have any further questions on this matter that we have not addressed, we invite you to please contact us.
SVP of Brand and Technology
Missoula Federal Credit Union