Wednesday May 9, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A telephone scam using Greylock Federal Credit Union's name in an attempt to fraudulently collect debit card numbers is targeting Berkshire County residents.

The credit union, which learned of the scam Tuesday afternoon, is warning its members and others not to give away personal banking information to automated calls or texts claiming to come from Greylock and insisting the information is necessary to reactivate a debit card.

The scam does not originate from any information taken from Greylock, according to Executive Vice President John Bissell. The calls from an unknown source instead appear to be targeting the credit union's geographic market; call recipients have been both members and non-members, and anyone who inputs debit card information is vulnerable to having his or her account hacked.

"It's a generalized scam, so it could be received by anyone," Bissell said, "and if people are concerned that they may have compromised information they should contact their financial institution."

Greylock posted a warning about the scam on its website and Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

Credit and debit card scams have become something of a routine, Bissell said, and this hoax seems largely to mirror previous ones, although in this case calls are coming in from a variety of different numbers, rather than just a handful. Some numbers were apparently illegally co-opted from legitimate businesses, including one real estate agency in Springfield.

The use of multiple telephone numbers could extend the duration of the scam, Bissell said, since the source could be more difficult to disconnect.

Scams are less successful at duping customers than they used to be, Bissell said, but a few people fall for the hoax every time. Financial institutions typically reimburse members who have lost money in a scam, and Bissell stressed that anyone who may have compromised their debit card numbers should contact their bank or credit union immediately.

To report a fraudulent call to Greylock, call (413) 236-4000 during regular business hours. Greylock members who did give out debit card information can call 1-800-453-4270 after hours. Members of other banks or credit unions should call their own financial institution.

To reach Amanda Korman:
akorman@berkshireeagle.com
(413) 496-6243
On Twitter: @mandface