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Phishers Target F-M Credit Union Customers

Online scammers have hooked on Fargo Moorhead region once again to capture account information of the Federal Credit Union customers of Fargo Public Schools.

The scammers, on May 1, 2007, distributed bulk e-mails pretending to be a security-upgrade, said Deb Mathern President for the credit union. INFORUM News published Mathern's statement on May 4, 2007. Till now there has been no report of money loss due to scam normally referred to as phishing, said she.

The mass mailing reached employees of firms and institutions such as The Forum and North Dakota State University. According to Mathern, unleashing of the scam coincided with the union's final date for "multi-factor identification" of clients of financial institutions. The e-mail imitates what a credit union or bank might instruct its customers to plant security for his/ her account. Then it seeks credit card/account numbers along with similar personal information all that's never required by credit unions, she said.

The scam that used the logo of the credit union has been pulled down. These kinds of scams have focused on the smaller financial companies because they outsource technology job and are therefore vulnerable, Mathern said.

Earlier an employee was caught by a phishing scam at Fargo's North High School, Mathern said. Within a minute of the employee's disclosing her information the phishers attacked her account. At first there was a transaction of one dollar to check the operation. Then in three minutes the crooks wiped her account clean, Mathern narrated.

In a similar incident, an Internet scam led visitors to a website strikingly looking like the military bank's site, according to a recent warning by the Nava Federal Credit Union. The fraudulent site extracts personal information of the customers that is employed for identity theft, officials at the Navy and bank said. According to one form of the scam an e-mail tells the customers that their Navy Federal Credit Union account is frozen so they need to give in personal and account information to restart their account.

Navy Federal has advised its customers not to open links or attachments in suspicious e-mails or from unknown senders.

Related article: Phishers Expand Their Sphere of Attacks

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