ArkLaTex consumer alert: Don't take bait from 'phishing' scams - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

ArkLaTex consumer alert: Don't take bait from 'phishing' scams

Hang up right away if you get a call that sounds like it could be a scam, BBB says. Hang up right away if you get a call that sounds like it could be a scam, BBB says.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - If you've received an anonymous phone call, text or email about your debit or credit card - beware. It could be something called "phishing," and it could cost you lots of time and money.

If any of this sounds familiar, that's because ArkLaTex residents went through the exact same ordeal back in January. Back then, the automated robo-calls claimed to be mostly from Wesla Federal Credit Union. 

Now, it includes the mention of three other local credit unions. But the advice remains the same: Don't give out your personal information.

This is what many residents have begun hearing again in the last few weeks: "Your visa debit card has been locked. To reactivate it please press 1 now."

This time around, the callers aren't just pretending to be from VISA or Wesla Federal Credit Union, but also from Barksdale, Bossier and Carter FCU's. These queries are also coming via text and email, but it appears the goal is the same - to get private information to steal your identity and then steal your money. 

"The financial institutions just do not contact you by text message or emails or telephone to find out this information," said Andy Fisher, president of the Shreveport area's Better Business Bureau.

Thankfully, if you find yourself realizing you were tricked into releasing information you really shouldn't have, there are things you can do to fight back. But you've got to do them quick. 

"Call the financial institution that they thought that they were talking to and report this immediately," Fisher suggests.

During KSLA News 12's visit to the BBB office, we spoke by conference call with "Brenda," an ArkLaTex woman who said she got a so-called "phishing" call on Tuesday. 

"It was a recorded call that said my Wesla Credit Union, I think it said credit card, had been deactivated," she said.

That was a major red flag for Brenda since she doesn't have a such a Wesla account. The call asked her to push '1' or '2' for more information. 

"So, I pushed 1, because I wanted to talk to somebody and tell them I didn't have a Wesla Credit Union card," she said.

But when another recording started to play, Brenda just hung up. 

Fisher said that's the best thing to do - just hang up right away.

So, whether you're on the phone, or online, it all boils down to one thing: Be sure you know exactly who you're talking to, or you could end up paying a hefty price.

If you get one of those phone calls, you can call the Better Business Bureau for advice. If you're in the Shreveport area call 318-797-1330. The Texarkana office can be reached at 903-793-4565.

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