Consumer alert: Phishing scam involving WESLA surfaces

Published: Feb. 23, 2016 at 7:11 PM CST
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These are screenshots of texts some KSLA News 12 viewers received Feb. 23 regarding WESLA...
These are screenshots of texts some KSLA News 12 viewers received Feb. 23 regarding WESLA Federal Credit Union. (KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There's a new twist to a phishing scam involving WESLA Federal Credit Union, and it has surfaced in Bossier and Caddo parishes.

Residents have reported receiving texts purporting to be from the credit union. The texts inform the recipients that their debit cards have been locked. A telephone number is provided along with instructions on how to unlock the debit card.

Even people who say they never have done business with the credit union report having received the scam's text message, like financial advisor Colin Evans, who is the managing partner with Evans Financial Group.

"I saw a friend of mine get it, then right as soon as he said he got it, it popped up on my phone as well," said Evans.

Evans is all too familiar with having his identity stolen, after someone used his card number overseas.

"It can be nerve-racking to watch a couple thousand dollars go out of your account, a 3 or 4 day time frame and that can easily happen with those kinds of text message," he said.

Evans offers advice for those who have questions whether or not a message is from their bank.

"If someone actually does get a text message like that, then they should, if they have their bank card, or whatever, call the number on the back of the card, that's a really legit way to go about it," said Evans.

Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator is warning residents not to respond to the texts nor give out any personal information such as bank account numbers.

The scam is being investigated by the FBI and detectives assigned to the Caddo–Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force.

Authorities urge anyone who has responded to a text by providing bank account information to call the task force at (318) 681-0770.

"If you have received an anonymous phone call or text in reference to your WESLA FCU VISA Debit or Credit card, DO NOT give out your personal account information," says a statement the credit union released and posted on its website this afternoon. "This is a SCAM. WESLA FCU would not ask for your confidential information in this manner."

"We are currently investigating the source as well as notifying the authorities. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience or concerns you may have. Your money and personal information is secure at WESLA Federal Credit Union."

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