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Another scam targets financial accounts by texting account holder


RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAU) -- Watch out for another scam that’s trying to take your money directly from your financial institution.

Oneida County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier says their department has recieved two complaints in the last day about text message senders looking for account information. “We’ve had two separate citizens in Oneida County call us regarding text messages they’ve been receiving from a credit union, which would represent their banking institution, stating that their credit limit was approaching and to send their credit card number and a pin number for the limit to be increased.”

Gauthier says in both cases, the people receiving the messages contacted their financial institutions and found out it was a scam.

The Lieutenant says the person trying to commit the crime already knows the victim’s phone number and the name of their financial institution, which may cause unsuspecting victims to think the messages are authentic. He says they’re not. “The two situations we have both were at different credit unions but it was their financial institution that they bank with when they used the name in the text message. Ripco Credit Union and CoVantage Credit Union.”

Gauthier says if you get a request for any kind of personal information like account numbers, passwords, social security numbers, and other things that are uniquely yours, don’t give that information to anyone over the phone, by email, text message, and especially over social media. He says just give that sensitive information to people you trust face-to-face. “It is so easy in this world where we have access to computers and things like that, that people are working hard at coming up with different ways to get account numbers, social security numbers, pin numbers, different identifying information so they can get access to people’s accounts.”

Anyone receiving a similar text message should contact both the financial institution and local law enforcement. Gauthier says it is also a good idea to be vigilant and keep an eye on your account activity and balances frequently.

The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department number is (715)361-5100.

(The interview with Oneida County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Lloyd Gauthier can be heard on our website, here.)