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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 10, 2006

Isle credit union warns of scam

By Greg Wiles
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union has joined Bank of Hawaii, First Hawaiian Bank and American Savings Bank as a target of Internet-based thieves trying to scam money out of customers through phony e-mails.

The credit union said thieves sent e-mails to some Hawai'i residents last week trying to get them to give information about ATM or debit cards. Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union said it alerted members about the bogus mailing, notified the National Credit Union Administration about the attack and worked with vendors to get a Web site related to the scam taken down.

"As the Primary Contact you must renew the service(s) listed below or it will be deactivated and deleted," said the e-mail, which asked people to click on a link to the phony Web page.

While that page included the credit union's telephone numbers at the bottom, the Web page's address included a ".uk," indicating it may have been originated in the United Kingdom.

Earlier this week some Hawai'i residents received fake e-mails that purported to be from Hawaii State Federal Credit Union. The bogus message had a similar request and included a link to a page where Web thieves were trying to get collect account information.

The e-mail scam, known as "phishing," has become more targeted in recent years with criminals trying to exploit local financial institutions.

Consumers should use caution when responding to e-mail messages or calls from financial institutions. Banks and credit unions typically do not request account information over the Internet or via unsolicited calls.

Reach Greg Wiles at gwiles@honoluluadvertiser.com.