Phone Scam Targets Bank Customers

by Kelly Choate on March 30, 2012 at 4:53 am

A phone scam is targeting consumers in Muskingum County, and several people have already given away their personal information.

Manager of Zane Trace Federal Credit Union Geoff Skal said the thieves send a text message telling the person that his or her debit card has been deactiviated or locked.  He said the message also provides a phone number for the person to call and reactivate the card.

"I called this number and it came back with a computer-generated voice," said Skal.  "The first thing it tells you to do is enter your 16 digit card number.  What I want people to know is that no viable financial institution works that way."

Skal said that he has never seen a scam like this in his 23 years in the business.  He said it’s likely affecting customers at banks all over the county, not just Zane Trace Federal Credit Union.

"They’re using text messaging, which means they’re using cell phone numbers," said Skal.  "The debit and credit card people don’t really want your cell phone number.  They want a landline if at all possible, so how they’re getting the cell phone numbers, that’s the real question."

Those who receive the spam text message are advised to call their bank immediately.