Missoula Federal Credit Union says scam is not a database breach


MISSOULA, Mont. - Scammers are posing as a Missoula credit union in mass text scam hitting western Montana.

Residents from Missoula to Drummond are reporting text messages on their cellphones, prompting them to call "MissoulaFCU," at an area code 844 or 917 number. When dialed, a recorded message states your debit card has been locked and prompts you to enter your card number.

Aspen Meidinger has banked with Missoula Federal Credit Union for the last two years.

"I received a text message from what I thought was my bank asking me to call this number," she told NBC Montana. "I called the number and they asked for your card number, the expiration date and the three-digit PIN on the back."

The credit union's website warns people not to give out their card numbers and says the text is a scam, but they say the scam is not a breach of their database.

"We have no indication that we've had any breach," said Clint Summers, the senior vice president of IT and eBranch at Missoula FCU. "We are getting complaints and information from people who are not members with us, and we do not have their phone numbers or records on file for us, so we do know it's something that's hitting a large group of people, not just our membership."

Summers said if it was an internal data breach the scammers would already have access to information, so they wouldn't be phishing for it.

Meidinger said she's still concerned about her account and confused as to how the scammers got her phone number.

"I'm going to continue to bank here, but I'm going to be pretty careful about who I call and who I don't call for a bank card that doesn't exist," she said.

Summers says the scammers likely got the numbers using a bulk SMS sending service that sends messages out in a blanket for every single number in a range in a matter of minutes.

If you feel like you've been scammed, The Montana Office of Consumer Protections has an online reporting system that will alert investigators.