Phony Call Is a Phony Con

Has someone called you pretending to be a representative from your banking institution informing you of an alleged breach of your debit card and bank account? Did the caller sound convincing and even have personal information about your recent financial transactions?  Were you told that a “Marshal or Bank Representative” would come to your home to pick up your bankcard in order to assist with the “investigation”?

Stop! Do not fall for this scam!

This week, residents have contacted the Lee County Office Fraud Line to report suspicious phone calls from someone claiming to be a ‘bank employee” alerting them of a compromise to their bank account due to fraudulent debit card charges. The “bank imposter” does, in fact, have the victim’s personal information, including their social security number and legitimate financial transactions; however, they are not associated in any way with the victim’s bank, nor has the victim’s account been compromised. Yet!

 To avoid becoming a victim of this fraud, please follow these safety and security tips:

  1. Never give out or confirm personal information over the phone to someone you do not know. Instead, hang up and call the number listed on the back of your bankcard or financial statements. Inform them of the call you have received and ask them to check your account.
  2. Beware of Caller ID.  Just because your caller id says the call is coming from your bank, it doesn’t mean it really is. Criminals can easily manipulate caller id in order to help make their scheme convincing.
  3. Never ever let someone come to your home in order to pick up your debit or credit card. No authentic bank representative, law enforcement officer, or federal marshal will ever do this.
  4. If you have received a call like this, you may be the victim of identity theft and should take immediate action to protect your finances and other personal accounts. Contact your bank, your credit card companies, change account passwords, and visit the website of the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov to find out how to place a credit freeze on your report.

 For more information about this Fraud Alert or to report this scam, call the Sheriff’s Office Fraud Line at 258-3292.