The Chickasha Police Department has been made aware of a new scam targeting state residents. Detective Brewer said ”We want to create awareness of these types of criminal activity to protect our citizens” The scam is a text message sent to a victim’s phone that appears to be from the victim’s bank and asks the victim to call a specific number. When the victim calls back the suspect posing as a teller tells them that their bank account is in the negative and attempts to gather several pieces of information such as debit card information and social security numbers.
The Attorney General’s Office out of Oklahoma City has been informed about this scam after receiving several phone calls from concerned citizens.
Representatives from the attorney generals office say “Oklahomans should be cautious with text messages, emails or telephone calls that ask for personal information, especially if they didn’t initiate the contact,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “If there is doubt, verify the information or simply disregard the request.”
Pruitt said it is another way criminals are attempting to obtain personal and financial information.
"The messages appear authentic and can lure unsuspecting consumers into providing information; which can cause financial loss and identity theft,” he said.
Below are a few tips to help consumers avoid scams:
Never give information out personal information such as PIN numbers, debit card numbers, or Social Security numbers over the phone unless you have initiated the communication and you have verified the business that you are calling as reputable.
If you receive a call from someone saying they are with your bank look up the listed telephone number for your bank in the yellow pages and call the bank directly to verify the request.
Don’t respond to text messages or emails unless you know, and can verify, who they are from.
If you are speaking with someone over the phone and they are pressuring you to give them information terminate the phone call.
One of the best ways to fight this type of scam is to be aware of the scam and tell others so they do not become victimized.
If you have received a fake bank text message or have a question about a possible scam you can contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or file a complaint online at "http://www.oag.ok.gov" www.oag.ok.gov.
Chickasha police Detective’s spoke with representatives from the Focus Federal Credit Union in Chickasha about these kinds of incidents.
CPD released the following statement:
"Chickasha police have been informed of an increase in phishing attacks on consumers and possibly credit union members. Individuals being targeted receive a text message or phone call. The automated message says the individual’s debit card has been closed and to re-activate the card they must enter their 16 digit card number, PIN, card expiration date, etc. In some cases there is no number attached to the call. This same type of phishing attack can also occur in a text message."
Local credit union representatives warned about the dangers associated with these types crimes.
“Don’t fall prey to these types of scams,” said Cheryl Urban, loan officer at Focus Federal Credit Union. “We will never solicit personal or financial information. Do not respond to requests for information unless you initiate the request - this includes requests via e-mail, phone, text messaging or through the mail.”
Urban also urgeed consumers to be vigilant to avoid debit and credit card fraud. Her fraud preventions tips include:
Contact the financial institution to confirm the legitimacy of any email that asks for the submission of personal or banking account information.
Check credit card and bank account statements regularly for unauthorized transactions, even small ones.
Make sure websites are secure when submitting financial information online. Check for padlocks or key icons at the bottoms of Internet browsers. Most secure Web addresses also use "https."
Report suspicious activity immediately to your financial institution or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.
Contact your financial institution immediately if a phishy link may have been clicked or a suspicious communication responded to.
For more information about how to protect yourself from Identity Theft and Fraud, log on to "http://www.ftc.gov" \o "blocked::http://www.ftc.gov/" www.ftc.gov or contact Cheryl Urban at Focus Federal Credit Union in Chickasha at 405-222-0012.