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Department of Real Estate Alerts Consumers About Recent Credit Union and Bank Scams

Published: May 10, 2024 Consumer Financial Literacy

Sacramento, CA - : The California Department of Real Estate is alerting consumers and its licensees of recent reports of fraudulent bank website scams and credit union smishing scams intended to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers.

Bank Website Scams

Bank of the Sierra (BOS) alerted the Department of Financial Protection an Innovation (DFPI) of an inquiry regarding a website associated with the domain "bksierra.org.” This came to the attention of BOS when a customer alerted the bank after mistakenly opening an account through the website. When attempting to access the website on various browsers, a warning message that the website was attempting to install malicious code was received.

Credit Union Smishing Scam

Coast Central Credit Union (CCCU) alerted the DFPI of numerous calls from members and non-members indicating that they received fraudulent SMS text messages that purport to be from CCCU. It is believed that they are being sent to 707 area code numbers. All the URLs are from the inet2 domain with .org TLD extension.

  • Examples: http://BNKofcoastcentral-u9.inet2.org, digitalcoastcentral-a.inet2.org, http://digitalcoastcentral-y1.inet2.org, and http://digitalcoastcentral-p1.inet2.org. Notice also that these sites are not secure so there is no certificate being sent.

  • You can avoid becoming a victim of a smishing attack by following a few simple steps:

    • Don't click on links or call telephone numbers of unknown senders.
    • Don't follow urgent instructions to visit a website.
    • Don't give out your personal information, such as passwords or account numbers.
    • Contact your financial institution if you mistakenly respond to a smishing message.

If you have been scammed and a DRE-licensed person or an unlicensed person practicing real estate is involved, file a complaint with DRE.

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