'Phishing' expedition targets Clearview credit union customers
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- East Franklin family held at gunpoint in Arnold; no one hurt
- Storms knock out power to several in Western Pa.
- Police: Man riding bike in New Kensington strikes truck, dies
- Kiski River search finds kayak but no kayaker
- Man uninjured after leap from Hulton Bridge
- 24 teachers put on New Kensington-Arnold School District furlough list
- Tarentum teen to be tried as an adult in New Year’s shooting
- Cochran repair center planned in Harrison
- Allegheny Township neighbors take drilling dispute to court
- Animal Protectors appeals Lower Burrell zoning ruling
- New Kensington constructs Little Free Library