HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — It’s not unusual for you to log onto your banking website and see that your bank has issued a fraud alert. It’s common for banks to do that these days, but it’s making it easier for scam artists to make a fake version. WHNT News 19 is taking action to make sure your pocket book stays safe and out of the hands of thieves.
“All of a sudden you’ll hear something on your cell phone and it’s a text message supposedly from your bank saying there’s a problem with your account and they’ve deactivated it,” said Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama. Mason said the scam artists are hoping the message send you into a panic, so they can get you right where they want you.
“They give a number for you to call and typically what happens when you call that number is that they’ll ask you to key in the 16 digits of your account number,” she said. Many times, that’s where the call ends. The purpose is to capture your account number and use it to make online purchases. Then the scam artists move on to their next victim.
Mason said it’s important to be familiar with the communication methods your bank uses. “You’re usually going to recognize an alert when it comes from your bank that might say you’ve over-drafted your account or there’s a large amount that’s passed through the account so they need to make sure its valid.”
If your real bank contacts you, they will likely ask you a few questions to make sure you’re the account holder, but they’re not going to ask for all sixteen digits of your account. If you think you’ve fallen for this scam, you should act quickly before it’s too late. The scam artists know once you pick up on it, your information will change quickly.
“If you do report a concern to your financial institution, they’re probably going to change your account so they’re going to be buying something very quickly.”