Police warn of electronic banking scam

Another scam seeking banking information has hit local text message and e-mail in-boxes.

Electronic messages claiming to warn people that a credit union account has been closed because of unusual banking activity started popping up early this morning, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

The message, headed with "Alert M:," refers to "your NCUA account," and tells people to call a long-distance number, which then asks for a 16-digit credit or debit card number.

The National Credit Union Administration or NCUA is a federal agency that oversees federal credit unions and insures accounts. It doesn't actually offer accounts.

Doney said credit unions and banks don't send messages of this sort and already have your account number anyway. This scam seems to be coming from outside the country, he said. The number was disconnected by mid-morning.

About two weeks ago, a similar scam claiming problems with a Bank of the Cascades account hit Medford. This time, recipients were wary and quickly contacted police.

"We got a deluge of calls," Doney said. He said a representative of the National Credit Union Administration the police contacted said she, too, had received numerous reports of the scam.

Investigators said people should delete the message and don't need to notify authorities unless they gave out account numbers or other personal information.

— Anita Burke

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