December 3, 2012
By Roger Thompson

This morning, we woke up to find this SMISH (Sms Phish) on my wife’s cell phone…

Given that we don’t have an account with a Federal Credit Union, it was instantly obvious that it was a scam, but we decided to play along.

I called the number, and it was answered by an automated voice mail system, (which in humor is accessible to older geeks, we shall call Eliza… sorry if you don’t get that bit).

Eliza informed me that my credit/debit card had been suspended and this automated system would allow me to re-activate it.

She then asked me to enter my card number, followed by the expiration date, the pin I used for cash withdrawal, and finally my 3-digit verification number from the back of the card. Suuuuuure I will.

For the record, I just made some numbers up, but Eliza didn’t seem to mind. She thanked me very much, and assured me that my card was already active, and that all was well.

I googled for the 646 number, and got about 1000 hits, all seemingly from people who got the same text, and it was all dated yesterday (Dec 1st) and today, so it is obviously a current and ongoing campaign.

In our case it was obviously a scam, because we had no account with the alleged credit union, but if we did have such an account, it might have been more believable, and I could see how it might fool the unwary. Just in case it is not clear, if you had parted with your credit card number, expiry date, three digit code and pin, someone would have had a very merry Christmas indeed, all on your dime. Your Christmas, not so merry.

The moral of the story is that if ever you are instructed to call your bank, or you feel such a need, call the number on the back of your card, not the one in the email or text.

It’s a simple defense. Stay safe, folks.


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