Fraudsters Spoofing Linn Area’s Phone Number

Young man listening on his mobile phone

We’ve been informed that some of our members are receiving phone calls that look like they’re coming from (319) 892-7300, Linn Area Credit Union’s main phone number.

These calls are NOT coming from Linn Area Credit Union. Fraudsters use a technique called “spoofing,” which makes it look like the phone call is coming from a different number than the number it’s actually coming from. They often choose a legit phone number — perhaps a phone number you would recognize (like ours) or a number in the same area code — to convince you to take the call. (After all, if it’s a local call, it could be someone you know, right?)

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Linn Area Credit Union who asks you to verify or provide personal or financial information, hang up immediately. Do not give out any information. This scammer trick is called “spear phishing.” The caller has some info about you and is looking to gather more details so they can steal your identity, access your bank accounts, and do more deceptive or illegal stuff. (They’re counting on you being too upset and nervous to slow down and think about what you’re doing and saying!)

Some of the tricks callers may try on you:

  • Can you verify that you bank at Linn Area Credit Union? (Hang up! We’ll never ask you that!)
  • Your identity has been stolen. (Nope, but they’re trying!)
  • We will be sending FBI agents to your home. (Not happening.)
  • We’ve detected fraudulent activity on your account. (They’re trying to get you to give them your account number. Don’t do it!)
  • Is it okay to freeze your account at Linn Area? (Again, they’re trying to get your account number.)
  • Is it okay to freeze your Social Security number? (They’re trying to get your Social Security number. FYI, Social Security numbers cannot be frozen.)

Sooooo…… how would Linn Area handle a potential problem with my account? (We’re glad you asked!) Our fraud monitoring team would contact you to verify a transaction if there seemed to be unusual activity on your account. We would provide the information that we want to verify, including the transaction description and dollar amount. You would never have to give us your Social Security number, account number, full debit card number, or online banking login info.

If you’re unsure if it is our fraud monitoring team, please don’t give out any information. Instead, hang up and contact Linn Area directly to determine if our fraud monitoring team was trying to contact you and what transaction was in question. (Better to be safe than sorry!)

Be sure to let us know if you receive one of these scam calls so we can work with law enforcement to try to get them shut down. We also encourage you to report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. Your reports help the FTC and other law enforcement investigate scams and bring crooks to justice.

Learn more about how you can help protect yourself from identity theft and other types of fraud. If you’d like to get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox, sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC.