Bria Williams, a credit union member, told a local TV station she always thought of herself as vigilant in protecting personal information, but a phone call has her rethinking things. Williams told the news outlet she was called by a familiar number, that of her credit union. That was followed by a text also claiming to be from the credit union.
“Pretty much saying, ‘Hey, did you attempt to use $650 at Smart Auto Loan with your card ending in this?’” Williams told the station. “Reply ‘y’ for yes or ‘n’ for no. I replied ‘n’ and it said, ‘Thank you, someone will be in contact with you shortly.’ Moments later they called me from that same exact phone number.”
The station reported that while on the call, she Googled her credit union’s number to be sure it was correct, and it was. The caller, Williams said, verified all her personal info, including her address and credit card numbers. “After he verified those things, I said, ‘OK, this is a legit call.’”
According to the station, Williams said the man on the phone told her about three charges someone made to her account in Houston, and that he would send her a one-time code so the card could be deactivated.
“He says, ‘OK, what’s your PIN? I need your pin so I can put it in and we’ll get this deactivated,’” Williams told WTVR. “I was hesitant, but I also was like I know it is the credit union man because he called from the phone number, so let me just give him this number.”
Feeling uneasy, Williams told the news outlet she checked her account a short time later, and while it showed no bogus charges made in Texas, there were two identical debits from her account made in Oklahoma City.
After getting in touch with a real representative from her credit union, Williams learned they had no record of calling her, the station reported, adding that Williams, who had been scammed, wants her story to be a cautionary tale for others.
“I’m 100% confused as to how they were able to duplicate the credit union number and impersonate them,” she said. “I contacted you all so I could bring awareness to the situation.”
Her credit union said it is investigating the incident and Williams was told they will return the money to her account.