Fraud Alert! Scammers Targeting Desert Financial Members with Airbnb Scam

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, scammers have emerged to take advantage of people’s vulnerabilities and fears. The FCC warns that, for example, scammers have been offering free home testing kits through text, and are making robocalls offering work-from-home opportunities and debt consolidation offers.

Among all the COVID-19-related scams circulating right now, Desert Financial members have currently been targeted by an Airbnb scam. Here’s what it looks like:

  • You receive a phony text message from EnFact telling you that they’ve caught suspicious activity on your account. The scammer then asks you to confirm if you’ve made the Airbnb transaction in question. (EnFact is a Visa fraud monitoring and detection system adopted by financial institutions, including Desert Financial, to identify suspicious activity on debit and credit card accounts.)
  • Calling from our phone number 1 (800) 456-9171, the scammer will claim to be an EnFact representative who is contacting you to confirm the fraudulent transaction of $670.63 with Airbnb.
  • The scammer will also have your card number, which is a tactic to make the call seem legitimate.
  • If you do confirm the transaction as fraudulent, the fake representative will ask for your PIN number in order to close the case for security purposes.
  • Next, the scammer will take your PIN number and attempt to withdraw funds from Wells Fargo, primarily in Florida.

The most important thing to remember is that Desert Financial will never ask you to disclose personal or account information through email, text and/or phone.

Here’s what you also need to know to safeguard your funds:

  • Do not respond to any communication that seems suspect or raises a red flag.
  • If you provided your PIN number or other personal information, contact us to immediately close your account and open a new one. Next, call the number on the back of your card to cancel the card and get a new one.
  • Be aware of a caller who asks you outright to give out your information and who speaks with urgency or a threatening tone.
  • In addition to PIN numbers, requested information could be your billing info, account numbers, social security number and username/password.
  • We will never ask you for the above information if we call you; however, if you call Desert Financial directly, we may ask for these details.
  • Contact us at (602) 433-7000 if you have any doubts about an unusual email, text and/or phone call or use one of our other fraud reporting options.
  • How EnFact legitimately works: It reports fraudulent activity to you via text or an automated phone call. You will respond by confirming that the transaction is authorized or not authorized, or you may opt to speak with a live representative. If you indicate that it is not a valid transaction, your card will automatically be closed.

It can be difficult to spot a phone scam — especially now that scammers are out to prey on people who may let their guard down because of anxiety and uncertainty during these challenging times. The best practice is to pause and question an email, text and/or phone call if your personal or financial information is being requested.

For more tips on scam protection, visit DesertFinancial.com/Security.

The material presented here is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to be used as financial, investment, or legal advice.