Criminals Using Robo Calls to Steal Debit Card Information
Posted June 20, 2011
Written by Reverse Phone Directory staff
Have you ever received a call from someone asking for your credit card numbers or any other personal information? Unfortunately, due to the present escalating phone fraud, you cannot trust any person who calls you. Reverse phone lookups have become increasingly popular as phone fraud reaches an all-time high. Scammers are getting smarter and will attempt to outwit their victims at all costs.
A different kind of phone scam has surfaced in Evansville, Indiana. It involves "robo calls" from criminals posing as bank officials. Robo calls are automated random phone calls made by criminals in an attempt to access private bank information from unsuspecting recipients.
The criminals literally scour the phone book for one area code and incessantly call every person hoping for a hit. They are posing as bank employees asking for debit card information. If the recipient does not give them the information, the criminals are threatening to cancel debit cards.
These calls are hitting Evansville, Indiana with a vengeance. Police are warning residents to never divulge personal account information over the phone. Tom Austerman, CEO of Evansville Commerce Bank, believes the criminals are successful enough to keep the scams going. He says, "And because they do this in such an algorithmic fashion, they're just going to catch a certain number."
Customers from the bank notified Tom, which prompted him to post an alert online. In addition, NEWS 25 in Evansville received complaints from residents who belong to two other banks in the area.
Police officials are warning of the severity of these crimes. The scammers realize they won't be successful with every call, but because they are making so many, the odds are that they will trick at least a few people. "Because they're doing it in such numbers, they don't have to be absolutely accurate in every instance." Tom Austerman said.
Recently, criminals also tried the same scams via text messages. They chose a random area code and went wild. All they needed was a small percentage of people to respond for their efforts to be successful.
The Evansville Police Department was notified of the crimes and under further investigation the numbers appeared to be originating from overseas. As a result, this criminal activity may become a federal investigation.
As for the people of Evansville, banks are urging residents once again to never offer personal banking information over the phone. Financial institutions will not ask you for private identity information. If you feel you are the victim of one of these scams, call your bank immediately and the local authorities.
Awareness is the first step. The more we can warn people about these crimes, the better chance we have of stopping phone fraud criminals from taking money belonging to innocent people.