New Fraud Scheme Targets 717 Phone Numbers

Don’t fall victim to the latest hacking scheme circulating the South-Central PA region. The recently discovered fraud attempt uses an extremely common phone scam method. Scammers using PSECU’s name recently sent out a large amount of texts and phone calls to 717 area codes this week. The text or voicemail claims to be your financial institution and asks that you call them at the number provided. If you call, the hackers will attempt to coerce you into giving out personal information like your social security number. One PSECU member who called the number was asked for secure information to unlock her account.

PSECU confirmed that this was not a result of a hack into their system. Instead, scammers will often buy large lists of phone numbers from public databases or randomly generate their own list.

If you ever receive a text or phone call claiming to be AmeriChoice or any other financial institution, follow these steps:

  1. Delete the suspected text.
  2. Look up your financial institution’s phone number on their public website.
  3. Call your financial institution’s publicly listed phone number to make them aware of the scam.
  4. If you have given out any personal information over the phone to the suspected number, let your financial institution know immediately.

Another common phone scam involves hackers claiming to be the IRS. The scam consists of hackers calling your phone to tell you that you owe money to the IRS and need to pay them immediately or else you risk severe consequences.

Please keep in mind that the IRS will never:

  • Ask for your credit card information over the phone
  • Insist you pay using a specific payment method
  • Demand immediate payment for taxes owed

With every advance in technology, hackers continue to reinvent their methods. Stay vigilant in protecting your personal information, and never be afraid to contact your financial institution directly to ask about any suspected communications.

If you’re looking for more tips and advice on how to protect yourself, visit our partner Digital Defense, an expert in identity theft issues. Want active protection? Learn about AmeriChoice’s new program, Benefits Plus, which includes a dedicated identity theft restoration center.