Scams Target Southern Tier Banking Customers

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Note: An earlier version of this story was published this week, but was withdrawn while further reporting took place.

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Two banking scams have recently targeted customers in the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier.

Samantha Lushtak and her husband have an account with CFCU Community Credit Union in Ithaca. They fell victim to one of the scams last week.

Gabe Altieri/WSKG

Lushtak said the scammer who called her husband knew the last four digits of his social security number and other personal information. They claimed they were calling from their credit union and wanted to confirm a fraudulent charge.

Later, she said they had a series of fraudulent charges and purchases totaling about $10,000.

The Lushtaks said the credit union has replaced the stolen money.

Bill Crane, the Chief Administration Officer at CFCU, said in a statement there was no internal security breach and their members’ money is safe and secure. He added that the credit union takes cybersecurity seriously and would not ask for – or provide – social security numbers over the phone or text.

The other scam involves text messages warning someone that their M&T Bank account has been blocked. 

M&T Bank has been warning its customers about that phishing scam since December.

A phishing scam is where criminals send out thousands of messages trying to find someone to trick into revealing personal information.

M&T and CFCU have warnings on their websites about the scams, how to avoid falling victim and what to do if contacted by a scammer.

An FBI spokesperson said people should always report scams to local law enforcement even if their money has been replaced by the credit union or bank.