- What are Alliant Credit Union Phishing Email/Texts?
- Red Flags to Watch Out For
- How to Beat Fake Alliant Emails and Texts
- Fallen for this Scam?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Alliant Credit Union is a member-owned credit union based in Illinois that has been serving its customers since 1935. Unfortunately, due to its vast membership (600,000 members and counting), the credit union has become targeted by imposters and fraudsters trying to steal information and money.
What are Alliant Credit Union Phishing Email/Texts?
If you bank with Alliant Credit Union, you may have received a phishing email or text requesting that you click a link to verify your information, update your account, or handle another urgent-sounding matter.
These emails and texts originate from scammers looking to steal your financial information. Here's how these scams work.
You Receive an Email or Text that Appears to Come from Alliant Credit Union
You get an email or text from your credit union, although you weren’t expecting one. The message may contain a link or an attachment. Often the wording may seem strange or off, and the request is always urgent.
Examples of the messaging in these texts include:
- Your account has suspicious activity, and you need to verify your information.
- You need to change your password because of a security risk.
- Your account has been temporarily restricted until you verify your information.
You Click the Link Provided
When you click the link, you are taken to a website masquerading as the legitimate Alliant Credit Union website.
If you have received a text, the message may request you to call an indicated number. If you call the number, you will be asked to provide your card number and PIN or other personal account information.
Don’t click the link—always log into your Alliant Credit Union account via the app or visit the website directly.
You Enter Your Personal and Financial Information
The website may ask you to log in using your username and password or provide other sensitive details, such as your:
- Account number
- Credit card or debit card number
- Social Security number (SSN)
Your Information is Now at Risk
Since you have entered your personal information on a fake website, scammers now have gained access to it. They can use it to steal your identity or make fraudulent purchases. Clicking the link can also expose your device to malware.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
It can be challenging to determine whether the email or text you’ve received came from Alliant Credit Union or a scammer. So keep these red flags in mind to avoid falling victim to this scam.
Email Or Text Comes From An Unfamiliar Email Or Number
Although the message may appear to come from Alliant Credit Union, the number or email address sending it likely won’t relate to the actual credit union. Always check the sender's email address or look up the phone number the text was sent from.
Don't ever click on any links or reply to emails/texts when in doubt. Instead, check the status of your Alliant Credit Union account by logging in directly from the website or app.
Message Has An Urgent Nature
Phishing texts and emails always have an urgent problem you need to address immediately. Note the use of words like alert, urgent, immediate action, or action required.
If Alliant sends out emails, they will have an informational purpose only. You wouldn’t need to take action or log into your Alliant account immediately as a result of any information contained in an email or text.
A phishing email or text won’t address you by name. Instead, the email is more likely to greet you with something vague and impersonal, such as “Dear Member” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”
Links Or URLs Are Fake
If you received an actual Alliant Credit Union email, the email would link to alliantcreditunion.org (or .com). You’ll notice in a fake email that the links will be slightly changed. For example, the scammer might have inserted an extra letter or number in the hopes that you won’t notice.
The Site is Not Secure
Any trustworthy site that requires you to enter financial or personal information should start with “https”, not “http”. The “s” indicates the site is secure. If the page you’re on does not begin with “https”, that’s a red flag that you may have stumbled into a phishing scam.
Alliant Credit Union websites are all secure and start with "https".
Strange Wording And Typos
The message itself may have strange wording and poor grammar and spelling. In addition, you'll probably notice that it doesn’t sound as professional as your bank's typical form of communication.
How to Beat Fake Alliant Emails and Texts
Scammers are savvy enough to know that you’re more apt to open an email or text that appears to come from your bank. That’s why this type of phishing scam can be so effective. However, you can easily beat this scam with some awareness and caution.
Don’t Click Any Links in Strange Emails or Texts
Don't click the link if the email or text contains any of the red flags discussed above or asks you to log in or provide any of your personal information. These links typically lead to dangerous websites that will steal your information.
Call Alliant Credit Union
If you receive a strange email that appears to come from Alliant Credit Union, call the credit union directly at 800-928-4328. A credit union representative can help you determine if the email is legitimate and whether any action needs to be taken with your account.
Log into Your Bank Account from the Website or App
When you want to use online banking, log into the website directly. This is the safest way to ensure you’re on the correct website.
Alliant also offers a mobile banking app for customers, providing safe access to online banking. The app logs you in using fingerprint ID technology available on most smartphones.
Sign Up for Alliant Email and Text Alerts
If you want additional peace of mind, sign up for Alliant’s real-time fraud text alerts to let you know about suspicious debit card transactions. You can also opt-in for email alerts to receive notifications about logins or transactions made on your accounts.
That way, when you do receive an email or text from Alliant, you’ll know it’s from the actual source and not a scammer.
Fallen for this Scam?
Falling for a scam like this can be a scary situation. You’re likely worried about your credit union account and the possibility of identity theft. Here’s what you should do next.
Contact Alliant Credit Union
If you have clicked on a phishing email link and inadvertently shared your information with a scammer, contact Alliant as soon as possible. Alliant representatives may temporarily suspend your account and issue you a new card so that the scammer can’t make any fraudulent purchases in your name.
If the scammer has already made purchases, the credit union will be able to investigate the fraud and hopefully credit your account. Also, if you have an Alliant Visa debit card, you’ll be protected against fraudulent activity through Visa’s zero-liability guarantee.
Keep a close eye on all of your accounts and dispute any transactions that weren't yours.
Report the Scam
If you have lost money as a result of this scam, report it to the authorities, such as:
- Your local police
- The Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357
Contact the Credit Bureaus
For additional protection, you can contact the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, to add a fraud alert to your credit report. A fraud alert is free and lasts for 12 months. You’ll still be able to apply for credit, but this alert requires lenders or creditors to take additional steps to verify your identity.
Another option is to request a credit freeze if you have confirmed a case of identity fraud. You won’t be able to apply for credit while the freeze is in effect, but thieves will also not be able to open accounts in your name.
These steps are especially important if you gave your Social Security number to the scammers. With this information, they will be able to fraudulently apply for loans and credit cards in your name.
Protect Your Online Accounts
Change your passwords on your Alliant Credit Union account, email, and any other accounts that share the same username and password. In addition, register your computer or mobile devices with Alliant, so the credit union will know if your account is being accessed from unauthorized devices.
You should also opt-in to Alliant's two-factor authentication for extra security. This will require you to enter a second code in addition to your password.