Financial Security

Tax Season Scam

February 13, 2017

As we prepare for Tax Season by gathering W-2s, 1099s and receipts from the previous year, scam artists are perfecting impersonation phone calls to lure information and/or money from unsuspecting tax payers. According to the IRS, the newest impersonation calls involve scammers demanding tax payments on iTunes and other gift cards.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment over the phone, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed a bill.
  • Threaten to immediately bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
  • Demand you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.

If you or someone you know has received an IRS impersonation phone call, report the call to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). This can be done by following these steps:

1. Go to the TIGTA website
2. Click on the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” link in the upper right corner of the TIGTA homepage.
3. Once you click on the link, fill out the complaint form.

IRS Impersonation Scam

October 17, 2016

Below are links to two IRS letters shared by the local IRS-Criminal Investigation division. The first linked IRS letter is one of the fraudulent letters currently in circulation.  There are notes on this letter pointing to the items that are not correct.  The second linked letter is a copy of a real letter one would receive, should they owe money to the IRS.

IRS Letter - Fake  IRS Letter - Real

Reporting an IRS Impersonation Phone Call

  1. Go to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) website
  2. Click on the “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” link located on the upper right corner of the TIGTA homepage.
  3. Once you click on the link, please fill out the complaint form.

Text Message Scam Alert

UPDATE: October 3, 2016

Members and Non-Members have received text messages claiming to be from TVA Credit Union asking for personal account information. This is a blanket scam. The Credit Union will never ask for your personal information. 

Members and Non-Members have also reported receiving the same message claiming to be from Citizens National Bank. 

UPDATE: September 21, 2016

We received word from the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions: a group of scammers in New York have targeted people in Tennessee by requesting account information by phone or website link. The Department said this was not a data breach, but a blanket scam.

UPDATE: September 20, 2016

Consumers are now receiving phone calls informing them of past due payments. They are given a number to call back and asked to give personal information. These calls are not from the Credit Union. Please do not give out personal sensitive information!

UPDATE: September 19, 2016

Today, Members and non-members received text messages resembling the ones from this weekend, but asking recipients to click a link instead of calling a phone number. Several variations of these messages are being sent. Also, some have received phone calls from the same scam asking for personal information.

September 18, 2016

This weekend, a text message was sent to consumers saying "KNOXVILLE TVA EMPLOYEES C.U. Alert for" then a phone number. The last part of the message says to contact a number that does not belong to the Credit Union. These messages are not from the Credit Union. Cyber criminals appear to have obtained phone records and sent out a blanket message, attempting to obtain personal information.

This was not a data breach from the Credit Union. All account information is secure and has not been shared or hacked. This is a blanket scam, meaning scammers purchased a list of phone numbers and sent texts to all numbers on the list, not knowing who is actually a Member. Many people who are not Members also received messages.

Please be assured, the Credit Union takes every precaution to protect Member information and did not experience any type of account breach. All account information is safe and secure. If you did reply to the scam, please call (800)554-8969 to close your debit card and contact the Credit Union at (865)544-5400. A Member Service Representative will be happy to check your account and advise on how to proceed. 

General tips to protect against phishing scams:

  • Avoid clicking links within text messages, especially if they are sent from someone you don't know. But, be aware, attack messages can appear to come from someone you do know, so think before you click.
  • Don't respond to text messages requesting private or financial information.
  • If you get a message that appears to be from your bank, financial institution, or other entity, contact the business directly to determine if it is a legitimate request. Review this entity's policy on sending text messages to customers.
  • Beware of messages from "5000" or some other number that is not a normally formatted number. Scammers often mask their identities by using email-to-text services to avoid revealing actual phone numbers.
  • If a text message urges you to act or respond quickly, stop to think about it. Remember, criminals use this tactic to get you to react before thinking logically about the situation.
  • Never reply to a suspicious text message without verifying the source. If your bank is going to cancel your credit card, you should be able to call the number on the back of your card to discuss.
  • Never call a phone number from an unknown text.

Remember, do not give out sensitive personal information! The Credit Union will never ask for this information.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and appreciate your patience!

Medicare Open Enrollment Scam

Open enrollment allows Medicare recipients to comparison shop and change plans. Scammers use this time to take advantage of customers. When someone asks for bank account or Medicare numbers, do not give them any information. Only give personal or financial information when the person you are talking to has been verified. 

The identity theft landscape is the perfect storm. A combination of powerful forces including sophisticated technologies, aggressive thieves, easy access to data, and few obstacles make identity theft the fastest growing crime in America.

Identity Theft Protection from Consumer Affairs

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Current Internet Scams

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