GPO credit union customers fall prey to phone scam

Hundreds of concerned customers contacted GPO Federal Credit Union's Oneida branch Monday after receiving fraudulent phone calls telling customers their card was suspended. The victims were then asked to press 1 to reactivate and then enter their 16 digit card number. GPO says that this was a scam and urges all customers to protect themselves by never giving out account information over the phone.

The company issued this statement on their website Monday:

8/24/08: We have been notified of a fraudulent telephone call, claiming to be from GPO Federal Credit Union.

This automated (recorded) telephone call states that your account is suspended, and to reactivate your account you must press 1. THIS PHONE CALL DID NOT ORIGINATE FROM GPO.

PLEASE REMEMBER to NEVER give out your account information via telephone or email. If the caller is truly from your Credit Union, they already have your account information and DO NOT need you to provide it to them.

The company also issued the following press release:

Consumers need to guard their personal financial information to avoid losses and to protect their identity.

Recently, financial institutions throughout Central New York have seen a rise in fraudulent phone calls, e-mail phishing attempts and even fraudulent text messages made to customers and non-customers alike. The criminals do not have access to personal information, they just hope to reach a few victims who may fall for the scam.

"Fraudsters are blanketing the area with automated phone calls, as well as sending out e-mails requesting personal account information," said John Prumo, president and CEO of GPO Federal Credit Union. "These criminals hope that victims will provide account numbers and personal identification numbers giving them access to available funds."

"The criminals, who oftentimes are based outside of the United States, hope to hit the jackpot when a customer releases their personal information," Prumo added.

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