Example Scams

Example Scams

General Rules

  • You should report or ignore any message that requests you provide sensitive, private information.  If you think you received a fraudulent request and provided information, please contact us.
  • GTE Financial will never contact you and solicit your account information. Text and email alerts are only available in our online banking after you login.
  • Never give personal or account information over the phone, in email or in text unless you initiated the call.

Fraud Attacks Defined

Know the fraudster language! What is a Phishing, SMShing, and Vishing attack?

  • Phishing is fraudulent attempts initiated via email sent to both the general public and to some credit union members that appear to be from legitimate companies or businesses. These false emails ask for the recipient to click on a link to verify their credit union account information. The link directs them to a false website and asks for their credit union account number, PIN, and password along with other personal information.
  • SMShing is a form of phishing that uses mobile phone text messages to attract users into visiting fraudulent websites, call a phone number or download malicious content via phone or web.
  • Vishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering and Voice over IP (VoIP) to gain access to private personal and financial information from the public for the purpose of financial reward.

Internet Scams

Scam websites impersonating the GTE Financial website will try to convince you to share confidential information. Sometimes, they'll even create ads on Google or social media to try to lure members to the fake site. If you believe you've been directed to a fake website impersonating GTE, leave the site immediately and contact us.

Phone Call Scams

Recently, GTE has become aware of a call scam to obtain your personal information:

  • Members are getting calls from a phone number that appears to be a legitimate GTE number. This is a spoofed number.
  • The fraudster states his name is David or is another male voice – he informs you that there’s a suspicious “$600 Best Buy transaction attempting to post” on your debit card
  • During the call, you receive several texts including the “Forgot Password” code for Online Banking
  • You are provided with a new, GTE code to reset your password and the fraudster asks to be provided with the code to validate your identity
    • Remember, GTE always includes verbiage in our texts that says you should not provide this number to anyone
  • The fraudster can now log into your Online Banking and can:
    • Changing personal contact information
    • Conducted Zelle transfers/withdrawals
    • Transferred money via Friends and Family to other members who fell victim to this scam

Another example of a fraudulent call is one claiming you’ve won a gift card and all you have to do is provide them with your account information.

  • An example of a phishing scam (April 21, 2014): If you receive an automated message that your debit card has been suspended or deactivated, please remember to not supply personal information. The message may prompt you to enter your debit card number to re-activate the card. It may be a generic message or it may indicate that it is a call from GTE Financial. Please remember, GTE will never request this type of information over the phone. If you have provided sensitive information, please call the number on the back of your card to cancel the card immediately. 
  • An example of a fishing scam (January 21, 2014): Credit Union members have been contacted by an automated phone call claiming to be from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), notifying consumers their debit cards have been compromised. The call then asks the receiver to follow prompts, which request personal information, including sensitive financial data and personal identification information.
  • Anyone contacted should immediately reach out to NCUA's Consumer Assistance Center Hotline at 800-755-1030 or by email at phishing@ncua.gov to report the scam. Operators answer calls Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm EST.

Text Message Scams

Example of common text message scams include:

  • “Your account has been suspended for IRS review. Contact us immediately at 866.XXX.XXXX.”
  • “Because of unusual activity on your card, please call 678.255.XXXX. Please provide your card information and enter it correctly or your account could be permanently closed.”
  • “GTE Bank Notification – Your GTE bank account is closed due to unusual activity. Email your 16 digit debit/credit card number, expiration date, and social security number to gtefinancial.bank@xxxx.mi”
  • If you get a text that indicates your debit card has been deactivated and please call XXX-XXX-XXXX to reactivate.

GTE will not reach out to you and request sensitive information in text. A reported phone number that was used in this scam was 813-707-3749. If you provided your account or banking information, please contact us immediately at 1.888.871.2690.

Email Scams

Examples of common email scams include:

  • “In our terms and conditions, you have agreed to state that your account must always be under your control or those you designate at all times. We have noticed some activity related to your account that indicates that order parties may have tried gaining access or control of your information in your account.
  • Therefore, to prevent unauthorized access to your GTE Financial Internet Banking account, you are limited to five failed login attempts in a 24-hour period. You have exceeded this number of attempts. To reactivate your debit card, please call: +1(805-XXX-XXXX)”

From: beirek@gtefcu.org
Dear Customer,

During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures, we have detected a slight error in your billing information.
This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information ( i.e. change of address).
2. Submitting invalid information during the initial sign up process.
3. An inability to accurately verify your selected option of payment due to an internal error
within our processors.

To regain access, you must logon to your account and to confirm your account details within 24 hours. Please visit www.cuathome.gtefcu.org and update your account. Your security is important to us. If you are not aware of this situation, please contact us
immediately at 1.813.871.2690.

*Note: If you have not registered with GTE Financial™, please ignore this message and your contact information will be deleted within 7 days.

Thank you.
We apologize for any inconvenience.

This is an example of an unverified email that is coming from a "spoofed" gtefcu.org account. This is an email phishing scam asking members to update their account information on a fake GTE website. "Spoofing" of email addresses can sometimes occur, however in many cases, if you look at the email header, you will see the true sender. Many anti-spam engines and email services check for this and will mark as SPAM. If you are ever concerned about an email being "real", it is best practices to not click on any links, do not login or provide sensitive information. Please contact our Member Care department at 1.888.871.2690 Monday - Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday from 9am - 1pm or email cybercrime@gtefinancial.org to report or confirm that a GTE email is legitimate.

App Scam

Some scams take the form of a mobile application for your smartphone.  A recent example masquerades as an MMS message from a user’s phone contact. The virus delivers a link, clicking on which unpacks the virus via an app.

  • The malicious program then gains admin privileges to Android, sending further messages to contacts and requesting fund transfers from any linked bank accounts via SMS.
  • Victims are greeted with the following message at the start: “Dear user, you have received an SMS photograph. You can view it using the link below.”
  • This threat is directed at Android OS users - bank customers using SMS banking and those who use mobile banking app.

If you receive a similar message, do not click the specified link.  If you feel that you may have installed a malicious application, please contact us.

Zelle Scam

A criminal will email, text or call a bank customer pretending to be an employee of the institution’s fraud department. On the call, or in the written message, the “fraud” rep will tell the customer they’ve been a victim of financial fraud and must take steps to halt any funds transfers.

The criminals then push the customer into completing a “Zelle refund” to stop the suspected criminal withdrawal from transferring out of the victim’s account.

Once the “Zelle refund” is complete, funds ARE transferred out of customer accounts and into criminal accounts in near real-time. The entire scam takes only minutes to accomplish.