I got this cryptic SMS this afternoon on my phone:
Arlington Virginia F C U system notify-unhandled exception . TOLL FREE 877 858 9026
Arlington Virginia Federal Credit Union happens to be legit and so is the domain of the supposed sender. But how did this get onto my cellphone--and why?? The toll free numbers on the FCU website do not match the one in the text message. When you call the TOLL FREE number, a synthesized voice asks you to verify your account by entering card numbers, passwords, account numbers, etc. (I didn't have the patience to listen for more than few seconds.)
This FCU happens to be near me. My best guess is that they harnessed the power of simple marketing or geographical databases or directories and wrote a script that blasts a SMS gateway with locally customized phishing messages directing everyone to the same automated toll free number.
Devious and sophisticated!
Who do you report a disembodied crime like this to?
* * *
The Credit Union knows about the scam and has put up an alert on their website:
Several new "phishing" and "SMiShing" attempts using Arlington Virginia Federal Credit Union's name have been detected. While they are in no way related to the Credit Union, we want our members to beware ANY email, phone call or text message asking you to give out, or validate, your account information. To protect yourself from "phishing" and "SMiShing" and other types of identity theft scams, simply don't give out your personal, private information to anyone... ever... over the phone, the Internet, your cell phone, etc... AVFCU will never call, email, text or contact you in any other way and ask you to provide your personal, private information to us. DON'T FALL FOR THESE SCAMS! Click here to read more.
Vishing and SMishing are the new variants of phishing.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, March 5th, 2009 and is filed under Uncategorized.
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