News Release: Scam Targeting Banks and Credit Union Customers

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Contact:
Lloyd LaFountain, Superintendent
Bureau of Financial Institutions
207-624-8570

Maine’s Bureau of Financial Institutions Warns Public about Phony Text Messages Sent to Bank and Credit Union Customers

GARDINER – Maine’s Bureau of Financial Institutions at the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation warns of a scam involving fraudulent text messages. The messages appear to come from a consumer’s bank or credit union and indicate that there is a problem with the consumer’s account or debit card. The scammers urgently request account and other personal information in order to fix the non-existent problem. The Bureau of Financial Institutions reminds consumers to look out for this scam and not to divulge bank or credit union account numbers or other personal information by text, phone or email.

The customers of several banks and credit unions received the text message. The message does not contain the name of any particular institution and appears randomly sent to cell phone numbers without targeting consumers at any particular institution. “Banks and credit unions will not text, call, or email customers asking them to divulge account numbers, pins or social security numbers,” Superintendent Lloyd P. LaFountain III said.

LaFountain emphasized that customers receiving unexpected calls, e-mails or text messages should call their bank or credit union directly and talk to an employee. He also noted that customers should always be vigilant to protect their personal information and monitor account statements.

If a consumer suspects he or she has received a scam text, the consumer should:

• Not return the text or call the number provided
• Never provide personal account information or other personal information in response to a text, call or e-mail. A bank or credit union does not request personal account information in such a manner.

The Bureau of Financial Institutions has a consumer library with helpful information about how consumers can spot and avoid financial scams. Also, the Bureau’s Consumer Outreach Specialist is available to answer any consumer questions related to financial scams or accounts in general. The Bureau’s phone number is 207-624-8570. The website is www.maine.gov/pfr/financialinstitutions/index.shtml.