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E-mail Scam Targets OTIS Consumers

OTIS Federal Credit Union of Maine, US, on March 18, 2009, cautioned customers to be wary of a phishing scam in which an e-mail message asks recipients to access their accounts so that they can get an alert.

The e-mail also directs consumers to click on a given link that actually leads to a website that asks for the account number of their debit card, its access code, 16 digits card number and the code on the reverse side having 3 digits. Armed with such information, phishers could easily produce a plastic piece and access the victims' accounts, security investigators said.

As soon as the Credit Union learnt about the fraudulent phishing e-mail, it immediately posted a notification on its official website, which states that OTIS Federal Credit Union has not sent any e-mail asking its consumers to login their accounts. Therefore, consumers must not input any account details in the given link for it clearly relates to a phishing fraud, the notification warns.

Giving members hints on how to identify phishing e-mails, OTIS stated that the Credit Union's Login would display to the member his 'multi-factor authentication' (MFA), which comprises a background image along with a phrase that the member chooses. Any e-mail message without these should be deleted, the Credit Union explained.

Another hint relates to the website seeking users' Visa and MasterCard account numbers, while OTIS doesn't provide these.

Stating that OTIS never e-mails such kinds of messages, Roland Poirier, President of OTIS, said there indeed was an application called 'eAlerts' that the Credit Union provides to its consumers. This application, according to Poirier, helps consumers to get e-mails informing them when their salary check gets deposited and other information relating to their accounts, as reported by Sunjournal on March 19, 2009. Poirier added that the phishing fraud was ironically using the same name, Alert.

Meanwhile, OTIS consumers who became victims and divulged their details to the fraudsters were directed to contact at 897-0900, the Credit Union's help-line number for remedial action as well as for answer to any question relating to the scam.

Related article: E-Crime Reporting Format To Be Launched in July

» SPAMfighter News - 3/26/2009

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