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avoiding unknown number phone scams

Phone Scams & Fake Calls: How to Stay Protected

March 03, 2023

No need to define what a spam call is because no doubt you’ve received your fair share. When blocked callers or spoofed numbers call with an automated message asking for private information, always remember: Columbia Credit Union, government agencies, and other financial institutions will never ask you to input your personally identifiable information such as card numbers, online banking credentials, PINs, card expiration dates, or CV2 codes over the phone. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about phone scams and fake calls.

What are phone scams and fake calls?

Caller ID spoofing is the process of changing the Caller ID to any number other than the actual calling number. Caller ID spoofing happens when a caller knowingly falsifies the info transmitted to disguise the number they’re calling from. If a number looks suspicious, use caution or consider not answering.

Avoiding Email, Phone, and Text Scams

Fraudsters will often send emails, voicemails, and texts directly to cardholders. When it comes to what you need to know about phone scams and fake calls, remembering these key points can help you avoid getting scammed:

A phone call from one of our fraud call centers will only include a request for the cardholder ZIP code and no other information—unless the cardholder confirms that a transaction is fraudulent. Only then will the cardholder be transferred to an agent, who will ask questions to confirm the cardholder’s identity before going through the transaction history. If at any point you are uncertain about questions being asked or the call itself, hang up and call us directly at Columbia Credit Union: 360-891-4000.

Text alerts from Columbia Credit Union will always be from a 5-digit number and NOT a 10-digit number resembling a phone number. You’ll be prompted to reply with answers such as “Yes,” “No,” Help,” or “Stop.” A link will NEVER be included.

Card Manager Can Help

Access Card Manager in Online Banking or the Columbia CU app to turn your cards off/on at any time. You can also control transactions by category, dollar amounts, or locations.

Your security is our #1 priority. Just remember these tips to always stay on the safe side, and learn about all of our security-first Digital Services here.