Criminals are using new and brazen tactics to gain access to member accounts. In recent days, Metro has had a noticeable increase in fraudsters calling the Credit Union posing as members and the techniques they are using are very convincing.

In recent cases, criminals will call the Credit Union posing as a member and they have at least one piece of member information, like a Social Security Number, possibly obtained from one of the many data breaches reported in the media. When the Metro employee asks for other information to verify the identity of the caller, the criminal says they will have to get it and call back.

These criminals then call the member whose account they are trying to access. They use a spoofed Caller ID that identifies them as calling from “Metro Credit Union”. The criminal tells the member “fraud is suspected on your account” and they ask the member for the same identifying information the Credit Union employee just requested. After they get the additional information (such as a password or driver’s license number) the criminal calls the Credit Union again; this time armed with more information to pretend to be the member.

You can protect yourself and your account by never giving personal or account information to anyone who calls you, regardless of the name that comes up on caller ID.

Legitimate employees from financial institutions obtain your identifying information when you open an account. They may verify information when you call them, but they would not call you and ask for this information. If anyone calls you claiming to be from a financial institution and asks you for personal or account information that they should already have, decline to answer. Ask them for their first and last name and tell them you’ll call them back, but do not use a phone number they give you. Find the phone number independently, call the institution and ask for that person. Then explain to the institution what has occurred.

Criminals are getting more creative, and some of these fraudsters are very good at convincing people they are legitimate. In one case, they even told the member they were cancelling her Credit Card and reordering a new one. They are getting better at using technology; spoofing Caller IDs and creating convincing email addresses to add to their credibility.

You can protect yourself and save yourself a lot of time by simply being skeptical of anyone calling you who starts asking for information. If you believe this has already happened to you, please immediately call Metro and report the event.