Be careful the next time your phone rings

The next time your phone rings, be careful what you tell the person on the other end. Empower Federal Credit Union says there's a "phone phishing" scam going around Central New York.

Empower is warning you to beware of the calls. Here's how a phone phishing scam works: someone calls you (it's usually automated), then asks you to provide secure information like a PIN or a 3-digit code on the back of your credit card. The automated caller then prompts you to press 1 to reach a security department.

Empower says these calls are not being made by legitimate financial institutions, but by scammers. They appear to be random, not targeting any specific group locally. Be aware though that the recording may refer to a specific financial institution or may even make reference to your financial institution.

"No member account information at the credit union has been compromised," says Christopher McQueeney, vice president of risk management at Empower. "However, we want to warn all area residents to beware of all phone calls, texts, or e-mails that ask for secure information. Financial institutions would never ask for secure information in this manner."

If you get one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to your financial institution. Remember never give up any personal information to someone you don't know.

Read more about how to protect yourself from phishing scams: Internet Fraud Tips.

New York's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, investigates phishing scams. Click here for more information about phishing and how to keep your personal information safe.