Look out – scammers are now assuming the identity of your bank to steal from you.
The scam has elicited a warning from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, who says the scam has targeted a number of consumers in his state already. He says consumers have received calls that appear to be from the Bank of NC and High Point Bank and Trust.
Here's how it works: the consumer receives an automated phone call saying that the consumer's debit card has been blocked. It asks the person on the line to press 1 to proceed.
You then get a live person who asks for your debit card number. Consumers who’ve received the calls report that they appear to come from numbers in Indiana, North Dakota, New Jersey and Canada. However, the criminals behind these scams are often located overseas and use technology to make their calls appear to come from numbers inside the U.S.
“If you get one of these phony phone calls, hang up,” Cooper said. “The calls come from scammers trying to steal your personal information and drain your account, not from your real bank.”
The calls are a variation on the phishing scam called vishing, or voice phishing. Con artists will use phone calls, text messages and email to pose as legitimate businesses or even government agencies in an attempt to steal your bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers.
“Don’t take the bait when criminals go phishing for your money and your information,” Cooper said.
Common sense is a good weapon
To avoid becoming a victim of phishing and vishing scams, keep your wits about you and employ common sense.
Never share your account number and/or PIN with anyone who contacts you, even if they claim to be with your bank. Think about it. Your bank already has your account or debit card number and will not contact you to ask for it.
If you get a call, email or text indicating that there’s a problem with your bank account, don’t respond. Instead, contact the bank at a phone number or through a secure website you know to be legitimate.