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Someone texting on an iPhone, phishing scam

How Scammers Take Advantage of AI

There has been a significant rise lately in phishing scams – no, not that kind of fishing. 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 each day. 

Businesses are using AI to help improve their customer service wait times, for instance, by 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 or not 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 software instructions to generate an email or text in perfectly written English in the format needed, such as a legal document, utility bill, or message from your credit union. 

Red Flags to Watch Out for in Texts and Emails

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. Be very wary of sending any of this information via email or text.
  • Uses scare tactics or claims to be “urgent,” requiring you to act immediately to avoid disaster
  • Asks you to transfer money via a link in the message

If you do receive such a request, do not click or respond to it. Call us immediately at 360-825-4833 ext. 6, option 2 to let us know. Then, take a screenshot of the message and send it to us. You may also want to report it to law enforcement or the FTC. After you’ve informed the proper authorities, delete the message and block the sender. If you did click on a link or replied to the message, call us immediately so we can check and secure your account.

We’re Here To Help Protect You From Fraud

If you’re still unclear whether a message is really from a business, you know where to find us. When in doubt — reach out. We strive to keep our members’ accounts secure. Feel free to stop by our credit union or contact us on our website. We have a variety of contact options, from text messaging to in-person appointments. Stay safe out there!

© 2020 White River Credit Union