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Kirtland Credit Union will never ask you to provide, update, or verify personal or account information through an unsolicited email, phone call, or text message.

We will NEVER ask for your online banking access codes, credentials or for you to transfer money.

If you receive an unsolicited email, phone call, or text message, DO NOT RESPOND. Notify us at (505) 254-4369 or 1-800-880-5328.

Learn more about fraud awareness and prevention at our Security Center page.

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Fraud Impersonation Scams

By Kirtland CU Staff


It’s important to stay alert to scammers attempting to access your personal data. These attempts occur in all types of business – and whether your accounts are at a multi-billion dollar bank or your local credit union, you must be vigilant.

Some of our members have recently received emails, text messages, and phone calls from fraudsters posing as credit union representatives – this impersonation scam is not exclusive to Kirtland CU, but if you aren’t vigilant about every communication you receive, you could become a victim. Fraudsters spoof (disguise to appear legitimate) credit union email addresses and phone numbers, and in combination with personally identifiable information, work to gain member trust before stealing your account funds.

Here’s what you need to know about credit union impersonation scams so you can avoid becoming a victim of these nefarious tactics.

What is a credit union impersonation scam?

A credit union impersonation scam happens when a member is convinced they are communicating with an actual credit union representative via email (phishing), SMS text message (smishing), or video call (vishing). In reality, they are sharing confidential information with a scammer.

Fraudsters use spoofing techniques to make it appear as though their communication is coming from a financial institution so they can:

  • Steal your account information (account number, debit card / credit card number, etc.)
  • Bypass security protections and access your account online
  • Solicit funds for fake payments

Kirtland Credit Union will never ask you to provide, update, or verify personal or account information through an unsolicited email, phone call, or text message. NEVER provide or share your:

  • Online banking text validation or reset code
  • Online banking user ID or password
  • Social Security number
  • Personal Identification Number (PIN)
  • Credit or debit card numbers or CVV (security number on back of card)
  • Member number

Credit Union Impersonation Scam Scenarios

A scammer will do everything they can to appear as if they are an actual credit union representative attempting to assist you with your account.

Typical Phishing / Smishing scenario:

Posing as a credit union fraud department employee, the scammer sends a spoofed email or text message to a member alerting them to suspicious account activity. Instructions urge the member to reply to the original message with account details, such as card numbers, CVV codes, PINs, or other account credentials so the “representative” can help solve the problem. Phishing and Smishing gives the scammer valuable data they can use to make unauthorized charges or access a member’s account.

Typical Vishing scenario:

Posing as a credit union representative, the scammer contacts a member using a spoofed phone number. 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 them 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 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 disappearing without a trace. The caller might even encourage the member to transfer funds to an external account, claiming the payment will be applied to a specific credit union loan.

How to Protect Yourself from Credit Union Impersonation Scams

  • Never share private information via SMS text message. Legitimate attempts to validate credit or debit card activity only require a simple response (YES or NO, Y or N, etc.) via text.
  • Do not click on hyperlinked phone numbers sent via SMS text or on links inside emails.
  • Don’t provide personal data via voice calls you did not initiate, even if the caller ID reads “Kirtland Credit Union”. Hang up and contact us at 1.800.880.5328 – we are here for you and happy to help!
  • Contact Kirtland CU to place a security code word of your choosing on your account, which will be required for all in-person or telephone interactions. As long as you never share your code word, this is an added layer of protection for your account.
If you believe someone is attempting to access your account, or already has, call us at 1.800.880.5328, or visit one of our conveniently located local branches for assistance.

Don't Be a Victim!

You need to know about credit union impersonation scams so you can avoid becoming a victim of these nefarious tactics.

Online and Mobile Banking will be unavailable on Thursday, May 9 from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Friday, May 10.