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Verve a CU: You have recently linked a new number ending in 2312 to your account, If this is not your number, visit {fraudulent link} to prevent unauthorized purchases

This is an example of a real phishing text message.

If that’s a new term for you, phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails or texts claiming to be from a reputable company in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and account numbers.


How do I know it’s a scam?

There are a few red flags to note here. Did you catch them?

  1. First, are you signed up to receive text alerts from this company or financial institution? Do you recognize the number? If the number is unfamiliar or the text is out of the blue, be skeptical.
  2. Second, look closer at the link. Is it directing you to a familiar website? In the example above, the communication claims to come from Verve, whose website is com. This phishing text directs you to an unfamiliar website listed as Not Verve. Sneaky move, right? Trickier still is that scammers added /verveacu to the end of a bogus website. Still not Verve. Don’t take the bait.
  3. Third, scammers can be sloppy when it comes to spelling and grammar. Companies, typically, are not. Any correspondence developed by a company or financial institution is submitted to a rigorous proofing process. This text message, on the other hand, is sloppy. Everything is spelled correctly, sure. But there are two punctuation errors here.
    1. First, the comma between “account, If” should be a period.
    2. Second, there is no end punctuation at the end of the text: “unauthorized purchases”
  4. Fourth, a scam will pressure you to act by making something seem urgent. They are playing on your gut reaction of “Well, this doesn’t look familiar. I better click this link to look into it.” They want you to act fast. Don’t.

For a refresher on how to spot red flags, read Four ways to know if it’s a scam.


What next?

If you received this text message—or should you receive similar texts in the future—here’s what you should do:

  • Delete the text message and do not click on the link.
  • If you clicked on the link, do not enter personal information.
  • If you already entered information, contact your company or financial institution immediately. If you’re a Verve member, contact us at 800.448.9228 to speak with a team member.


How did they get my number?

Scammers get phone numbers in various ways and more than likely send text messages such as this to a large audience. They cast a wide net that may include the targeted company’s members and non-members alike.


How Verve and Fraud Squad can help

Our Fraud Squad provides education about common scams to retailers and consumers within the Fox Valley and surrounding areas. The program helps raise awareness of common scams so they can more easily recognize the lies and avoid phone, email, social media, gift card, and other scams to help them protect their financial health and wealth.

If you think your Verve account is at risk because of any scam, call Verve at 800.448.9228. One of our team members can look at your account with you to verify there are no suspicious transactions, help you cancel your card if you’ve entered your number into a questionable website, as well as guide you on how to safeguard your account against fraud.

It’s Verve’s goal—in line with our guiding Cooperative Principles—to provide education, training, and information to help our members stay financially fit. Verve is committed to keeping our members educated when it comes to their finances by providing details on financial risks and ways to stay safe.

Help your friends and family stay safe against scams by sharing this blog post.