Unfortunately, anyone can be targeted by fraudulent emails, calls or text messages. We want our members to be informed, alert and protect themselves from these various scams.
Phishing Scams Explained
Phishing is when a scammer sends an email to an unsuspecting consumer. That fraudulent email might look just like a legitimate credit union or bank email (right down to the company logo), but in fact it’s a forgery. If the consumer falls for the bait (thus the “fishing” reference), the thief could get credit card numbers, PINs, expiration dates, credit union/bank account numbers and even Social Security numbers.
With enough information, a con artist can run up fraudulent bills or even steal a person’s identity. Be on the lookout for any financial institution email that requests your personal or financial information. No financial institution will make that kind of request online.TVFCU will never send you an email requesting information, personal or financial. If you receive an email asking for this type of information, contact the financial institution directly for verification.
If you receive a phishing e-mail claiming to be from the credit union, be aware that these phishing e-mails are not from TVFCU and do not affect the credit union’s actual data system. At no time has that information ever been compromised. These scams are aimed squarely at consumers in an effort to trick them into providing their own personal information for use in criminal or fraudulent activities.
Vishing Scams Explained
Vishing is similar to phishing, except by phone — either in person or by an automated phone system. These criminals will claim to be from the financial institution whose customers are being targeted. They will request the same type of personal and account information.
The criminals behind these scams simply blast a large number of emails (or automated calls) out to the public hoping to hook unsuspecting consumers. Of course they are hoping someone will actually respond with their personal account information.
Smishing Scams Explained
Smishing is just like phishing and vishing. It is text-message fraud that occurs when criminals, posing as financial institutions, attempt to dupe mobile-phone users into giving personal information through text messages, calling a telephone number or visiting a fraudulent website. Education and diligence are among the best ways to protect yourself against such fraudulent activities.
Phishing scams are prevalent and growing rapidly. Here are a few tips to help you avoid getting hooked by one.
- Never share YOUR$ digital banking credentials. Keep your usernames and passwords private. Only you should have access to your online banking or mobile app. Criminals can misuse your information to transfer funds, lock you out of your account, or apply for accounts and loans in your name.
- Do not respond to any unsolicited e-mail that asks for personal or account information. Don’t reply to it or click on any links contained in the message.
- Never give out personal information if you have not initiated the transaction or call.
- No legitimate financial institution will ever e-mail or call to verify personal and/or account information, because if they do business with you, they already possess it.
- Consumers are advised to be highly suspicious when receiving messages directing them to call and provide credit card or bank numbers. Rather than provide any information, the consumer is advised to contact their financial institution or credit card company directly to verify the validity of the message.
- Always verify e-mail/website addresses and phone numbers with a legitimate source such as your account statement. Do not rely on information contained in an e-mail or phone message.
- If a credit/debit card company actually calls to notify you of suspicious charges, they will not ask for your personal information. Instead they will verify that they have reached the cardholder and ask for them by name. Then they may ask the cardholder to verify the last 4-digits of their Social Security number (Note: They will not ask for your entire Social Security number, account number, expiration date or PIN). They will then verify if you made that particular charge or not. If anything sounds suspicious, hang up and call your financial institution directly.
- Avoid bogus sites by entering web addresses directly into the browser yourself or by using bookmarks you create.
- If you’re a tvfcuONLINE user, double check the URL that is in the address bar before entering your login credentials. It should read: https://yourmoney.tvfcu.com/.
- When prompted for a password, supply an incorrect one first. A bogus web site will accept it, but a legitimate one won’t.
- If you have fallen victim to such a scam and given out your personal account information, contact your financial institution immediately to protect your accounts, block your cards, fill out a fraud affidavit and take other protective measures as necessary.
For more information on Phishing, Vishing and other fraudulent scams please visit the Security Resources page.
People have reported receiving a text that claims to be from "Tennessee Valley FCU". It says:
"Unrecognized attempt to charge 635.00 USD from your card on 10/09/2023. If isn't you? Visit _________"
The link provided takes users to a website that looks like the YOUR$ login page.
What to do if you've fallen victim:
If you followed the link, please update your YOUR$ password immediately and contact us directly at 423-634-3600 7am - 7pm Monday - Saturday to secure your accounts.
How to avoid being a victim of this scam:
Do not follow a link in a text message claiming to be from TVFCU. Never log in to YOUR$ using a link sent to you by text or email - always log in directly through the App or by visiting tvfcu.com.
We have received reports of a potential scam targeting our community. Many members have reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be representatives of TVFCU. The scammers do not know the members bank at TVFCU, they are likely calling a list of phone numbers they know serve the Chattanooga area and hoping to come across members who will then give up their information.
The member receives a call claiming to be from TVFCU. The phone number on Caller ID might even show TVFCU, as the scammers have the ability to spoof a phone number. The scammer then requests login information for online banking accounts, including passwords. We want to reassure you that TVFCU takes your security seriously, and we will never call you and ask for your online banking password over the phone.
The scammers have also asked for personal and account information. If they are successful in aquiring the login and password, they then attempt to transfer funds out of the members account, sometimes costing members thousands of dollars.
What to do if you've fallen victim:
If you have received a call recently where you shared any of your online banking details, including your password, please contact us directly at 423-634-3600 so that we can take necessary steps to safeguard your accounts and personal information.
How to avoid being a victim of this scam:
Remember, staying vigilant is crucial in protecting yourself from scams. Do not disclose sensitive information to anyone over the phone unless you have verified the legitimacy of the request. If you receive a call claiming to be from TVFCU, one way to verify it's legitimacy is to get the name of the person you are speaking with, and then let them know you will call them back. Then, call a number you know to be belongs to TVFCU, 423-634-3600, and ask to speak with that individual.