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Credit unions warn of imposter text message scams

Oregon Community Credit Union, also known as OCCU is headquartered in Eugene.
Chris Lehman
Oregon Community Credit Union, also known as OCCU, is headquartered in Eugene.

Credit unions in Oregon are warning of a new scam that involves imposter text messages. The texts look legit, and can be tricky since people often respond quickly to texts.

Matthew Wilson is Senior Vice President for Risk and Administration with Oregon Community Credit Union in Eugene. He said, in some cases, fraudsters have been able to log in to member accounts and take thousands of dollars.

“It’s so violating that you just don’t want to trust anybody at that point,” said Wilson. “A lot of members are embarrassed that they fell for a scam. And that’s part of the other message that we’re trying to get out there is: don’t be embarrassed. These people, that’s all they’re doing for a living is try to get into your account and steal the money.”

Wilson said the scam, known as "smishing," is a problem across the United States. He advised ignoring the text message if you’re not expecting one from your credit union. You can check for odd activity by calling the credit union, going to your credit union’s website, or its app.

If you think you’ve been scammed, contact your financial institution right away. The next step is to consider freezing your credit reports and notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Copyright 2023 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.