First, consumers received text messages falsely claiming to be from Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. It was a scam designed to get personal information.
Now, they are receiving phone calls and additional text messages, the credit union said in an update posted on its website on Tuesday.
“Consumers are now receiving phone calls informing them of past due payments,” the credit union said. “They are given a number to call back and asked to give personal information. These calls are not from the credit union. Please do not give out personal sensitive information!”
On Monday, the credit union said members and non-members received text messages resembling the ones from this past weekend, but asking recipients to click a link instead of calling a phone number.
“Several variations of these messages are being sent,” the credit union said Monday. “Also, some have received phone calls from the same scam asking for personal information.”
On Sunday, the credit union said a text message was sent to consumers over the weekend that read: “KNOXVILLE TVA EMPLOYEES C.U. Alert for,” followed by a phone number. The last part of the message said to contact a number that does not belong to the credit union, according to Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union.
“These messages are not from the credit union,” the Sunday update said. “Cyber criminals appear to have obtained phone records and sent out a blanket message, attempting to obtain personal information.”
Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union said this was not a data breach from the credit union.
“All account information is secure and has not been shared or hacked,” the update said. “This is a blanket scam, meaning scammers purchased a list of phone numbers and sent texts to all numbers on the list, not knowing who is actually a member. Many people who are not members also received messages.”
The credit union said it takes every precaution to protect member information and did not experience any type of account breach.
“All account information is safe and secure,” the credit union said.
“If you did reply to the scam, please call (800) 554-8969 to close your debit card and contact the Credit Union at (865) 544-5400,” the credit union said. “A member service representative will be happy to check your account and advise on how to proceed.”
The credit union published general tips to protect against phishing scams:
- Avoid clicking links within text messages, especially if they are sent from someone you don’t know. But be aware, attack messages can appear to come from someone you do know, so think before you click.
- Don’t respond to text messages requesting private or financial information.
- If you get a message that appears to be from your bank, financial institution, or other entity, contact the business directly to determine if it is a legitimate request. Review this entity’s policy on sending text messages to customers.
- Beware of messages from “5000” or some other number that is not a normally formatted number. Scammers often mask their identities by using email-to-text services to avoid revealing actual phone numbers.
- If a text message urges you to act or respond quickly, stop to think about it. Remember, criminals use this tactic to get you to react before thinking logically about the situation.
- Never reply to a suspicious text message without verifying the source. If your bank is going to cancel your credit card, you should be able to call the number on the back of your card to discuss.
- Never call a phone number from an unknown text.
Remember, do not give out sensitive personal information! The credit union will never ask for this information.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience!” the credit union said.
See the Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union updates here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.