By CUNA and Armco Credit Union
Friday, December 8, 2023

There has been a significant rise lately in phishing scams. These are text messages or emails that attempt to get your personal information. This rise is due in part to improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) software, which becomes more sophisticated with each day.

Businesses are using AI to help improve their customer service wait times, for instance, using chatbots to answer consumers’ frequently asked questions online. Unfortunately, fraudsters are also using this tool to help their “business.” Their techniques have become so clever that it’s getting harder to tell whether the text or email you receive is really from a business you use frequently or even from your credit union.

Before AI, scam emails and texts had common tell-tale traits: mangled sentence structure, poor grammar or spelling, etc. Today, scammers can give the software instruction to generate an email or text in perfectly written English in the format needed, like a legal document, utility bill, or message from your credit union.

To protect yourself from scammers trying to access your credit union account, be suspicious of any text or email that:

  • Comes from an unknown number, claiming to be from the credit union, telling you there is a problem with your account.
  • Asks you for your personal, confidential information. This includes your online banking username, password, one-time passcodes, Social Security number, account number, debit or credit card number, PIN or CVV.
  • Uses scare tactics or claims to be “urgent,” requiring you act immediately to avoid disaster.
  • Asks you to transfer money via a link in the message.

If you receive a suspicious or unfamiliar request claiming to be from Armco Credit Union, do not click on any links or respond to the message. Instead, call us immediately at 724-284-2020 to let us know. If you did click on a link or reply to the message, contact us immediately so we can review the message for legitimacy and take any necessary steps to protect your accounts. Then take a screenshot of the message and send it to us. You may also want to report it to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Then delete the message and block the sender.

There are times Armco Credit Union will need to reach you. If the credit union calls asking for personal information, Armco Credit Union Fraud Officer, Danielle Crissey, encourages members to get the employee’s name and extension, hang up and call our main phone number 724-284-2020. Dial the extension directly or ask for the employee by name. Members who regularly use a branch should call that branch directly and speak to an employee they know.

“Members are not inconveniencing us when they are concerned about providing information when we call them and instead request to hang-up and call us back,” said Crissey, “In fact, we appreciate when they do so. It shows that our members are aware of common scams and are being diligent in protecting themselves.”