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Beware of Phone Spoofing Scams

Credit Union members must stay alert to the latest attempts by scammers to access personal financial data. All members should be on the lookout for any communications claiming to be associated with Wave FCU. Scammers are spoofing financial institution’s identities by using their real phone numbers to appear on Caller IDs.

Fraudsters spoof credit union phone numbers and email addresses to gain members’ trust before stealing account funds.

What you need to know about credit union impersonation scams:

Successful credit union impersonation scams occur when members are convinced they’re communicating with an actual credit union representative via live voice call (Vishing), SMS text message (SMishing), or email (Phishing). But in reality; they’re sharing confidential information with a scammer.

Fraudsters use spoofing techniques to make it appear as though the communication is from the institution so they can:

  • Steal your debit card information
  • Bypass security protections and access your account online; and
  • Solicit funds for fake payments


Look out for Vishing

Typically the scammer contacts the member using a spoofed phone number and posing as a credit union employee. The caller claims they need to discuss an important matter, but they must first confirm the member’s identity. The scammer is already on the credit union’s online banking website and informs the member they need to provide the PIN sent to the member’s phone or answer security questions. Since the caller says they’re from the credit union and the number on the Caller ID appears to confirm it, the member doesn’t hesitate to provide the requested information.

Vishing allows the scammer to use the information provided by the member to complete the login. They proceed to lock the member out of their account by changing the online banking password. The fraudster then transfers funds from the member’s account to their own temporary account before vanishing without a trace. The caller might even encourage the member to transfer funds to an external account claiming that the payment will be applied to a specific credit union loan.

Look out for Phishing and SMishing

Phishing and SMishing occur when a scammer sends a spoofed email or text message to a member, posing as a Credit Union employee and alerting them to suspicious debit card activity. The member is then urged to reply with account details, such as card numbers, CV2 codes, PINs, or other online account credentials. The scammer then uses this information to make unauthorized charges or access the member's account.

Protect Yourself

To protect yourself from these scams, never share private information via SMS text message and avoid clicking on hyperlinked phone numbers or links inside emails. Pause before providing personal data via voice calls you did not initiate, even if the caller ID reads “Wave Federal Credit Union.” If someone contacts you and requests any of your account information, do not share any information, hang up immediately, and call Wave back directly at 401-781-1020.

Wave FCU will never contact you directly to request any account information, including your Social Security Number, Credit or Debit Card Numbers, Security Code or CVV, PIN, Address, Date of Birth, Online Banking Login Information, Verification Codes, or Passwords. If you receive a fraudulent email, phone call, or text impersonating Wave, report it right away.

Remember, member vigilance is the most effective form of fraud prevention. Share this information with friends and family members who may be vulnerable to this type of fraud.