TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

'Phishing' expedition targets Clearview credit union customers

An example of a phishing text purportedly from Clearview Federal Credit Union that was sent on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

What the scam looks like:

Those who receive texts claiming to be from Clearview and click on the provided link receive this message:

“We are very sorry, but your ATM/Check Card has been suspended due to an error of our internal processors. Please confirm your information in order to unlock your card. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“Please Note: Once you have submitted your information, the limitations on your card will be removed immediately.”

Recipients are then asked to provide their full name, billing address, date of birth, Social Security number and card number with its expiration date and personal identification number.

Daily Photo Galleries

AlleKiski Valley Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, 5:33 p.m.
 

The FBI is investigating a regional scam to steal people's identities by posing as the Clearview Federal Credit Union.

Clearview spokeswoman Christianne Gribben said members and non-members have reported fielding a call, text or email asking them to contact the Moon Township-based credit union about their account.

Clearview has local offices available to the public in Harrison and Lower Burrell.

Most of the messages, Gribben said, are fraudulent notices of debit card suspensions “due to an error of (Clearview's) internal processors.”

Those who follow the steps to reactivate their cards are asked to give their Social Security numbers, billing addresses, personal identification and card numbers.

Gribben said Clearview, like any legitimate financial institution, doesn't request such sensitive information via phone or text.

“It's important to be cognizant of ways to protect your individual identity,” she said. “People should always keep an eye on their accounts and monitor their statements.

“If anyone has submitted their personal information through these avenues, member or not, they should contact their financial institutions immediately.”

FBI spokeswoman Kelly Kochamba could not be reached on Monday.

The numbers delivering messages have area codes of 412, 724 or 423. The first two cover areas of Western Pennsylvania; 423 is an area code representing two separate areas of Eastern Tennessee.

It was unknown how many people have received messages. Gribben could not provide information on the geographic scope of the scam.

Cathie Hunter-Cielicki of Lower Burrell said she received a text Monday morning that her debit card with Clearview had been suspended.

“Being that I'm not a Clearview member, it was pretty obvious it was a scam,” she said. “I called the local bank to inform them of the scam and they were already aware of it. They had already received some calls about it.”

Gribben said the scam artists first started sending messages on Saturday.

So far, according to Gribben, no Clearview members have reported losses.

All of the calls and messages are being made from outside numbers and IP addresses and not from Clearview's system, Gribben said.

“There has been no breach or hacking of any kind,” she said. “People just need to use their good judgement and common sense to realize what is and isn't a scam.”

Clearview is Southwestern Pennsylvania's largest credit union. It serves more than 85,000 members through 17 full-service branches throughout the region.

Clearview officials are asking members who have replied to texts or emails to report it immediately at 1-800-926-0003.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
  2. Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
  3. New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
  4. Winfield supervisors OK natural gas-drilling regulations
  5. Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana in New Kensington
  6. South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
  7. ATI reveals details of contract offer to steelworkers union
  8. Valley flocks to welcome new Greensburg bishop
  9. Freeport to address sewage bill deadbeats
  10. USW rallies in support of ATI, other steel companies’ employees
  11. Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft