Con artists targeting Pinedale bank customers for debit card info
Phishing scam involves bogus phone calls, text messages claiming debit card compromised
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
March 6, 2009
We received the below release from 1st Bank in Pinedale today about a scam targeting Pinedale area residents, trying to get debit card information for accounts from local banks.
According to Melissa Flanagan, Operations with 1st Bank, the scam started yesterday (Thursday, March 6th) with a rash of complaints from customers saying they were getting phone calls on land lines, cell phones and text messages from someone saying their debit cards were compromised and have been shut down. In order to reactivate the card, the caller asks the person to reenter their debit card number along with the pin. Most people realize this is a scam, but at least one person apparently believed the story and gave out their personal bank information. Within ten minutes, someone made a debit card and tried to withdraw money from her account. Fortunately, the bank customer accidently gave out a wrong number, so the scam failed and her money wasnít withdrawn.
In this scam, the Caller ID on the incoming call shows up as all zeros. According to Flanagan, it appears this caller is using a satellite phone, which is untraceable. This scam has also been reported in Evanston and Star Valley, and it involves the names of several local banks in addition to 1st Bank in Pinedale.
As a cautionary note, the public should be aware that the Caller ID number on incoming calls can easily be faked. Citizens may receive a phone call or message that shows up on the Caller ID as from their local bank, or the sheriffís department, or other official looking entity. A good scammer can pretend to be a representative of the local bank or an authority figure from some agency saying they are investigating a fraud and need your personal account information for their investigation. DO NOT GIVE OUR YOUR PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION OR BANK INFORMATION TO CALLERS. The best course is to hang up. But if you do continue the conversation and decide to take a name and number, if they will give it to you, independently look up the phone number for that agency in the phone book and do a call back on your own to the agency to verify the person and their story. Do not call back the number the caller gives you. It is likely bogus and will get you right back to the scammers.
Below is the text of the media release from 1st Bank:
1st Bank (of Pinedale)
221 East Pine Street
Pinedale, Wyoming 82941
Recently there has been a dramatic increase in con artists phishing for your bank information. Remember never to give out your bank information over the phone, by text, or by e-mail.
1st Bank has recently seen this happen to their customers. Somebody from a satellite phone is randomly calling land line sand cell phones in the area and saying that their debit card has been compromised and has been shut down, to re-activate please put in your debit card information, along with your pin number. We are also aware that they have been tring to reach people with this same scam via text and e-mail.
1st Bank will never contact you and ask you for this information. Please do not give any personal information out to anyone you do not know.
In addition, our customers should be assured that 1st Bankís information security system has not been breached and no customer data been compromised. The calls and messages are initiated randomly using phone prefixes and bank names throughout the country.
Printable PDF of this media release