Phone Scam Targeting Bank Customers

A new phone scam is targeting Brazos Valley residents, and if you're not careful you could become the latest victim.

Scammers are leaving automated voice messages saying your bank account has been locked.

The message then asks you to call a certain 1-800 number where you are to provide the number to your bank account.

First National Bank says they've been made aware of the problem and have posted a warning to customers on its website.

"We have recently noticed an increase in "phishing" scams and want to alert our customers on how to avoid becoming a victim of such. It's pronounced "fishing," and that's exactly what these thieves are doing: "fishing" for your personal financial information. What they want are account numbers, debit and credit card numbers, Internet banking user codes, passwords, Social Security numbers, and other confidential information that they can use to loot your checking account or run up bills on your debit and credit cards. First National Bank will never ask for your private information, card numbers, pin numbers or passwords - EVER!"

News 3 talked with the Better Business Bureau Monday about what you should know regarding the latest criminal tactic.

"Under no circumstance should you give them any information, your social security number, your mother's name, whatever it might be, including your pin number to your account or anything like that," Larry Lightfoot with the Better Business Bureau said. "You need to say "ok what is your phone number," then they'll probably give you a telephone number, but you are not not going to be able to get in touch with a real person because a bank is not going to call you on the phone and say they need information about you."

The Bryan Police Department released several tips Monday regarding the latest phone scam:

· Legitimate banks will not call a person and ask for personal information over the phone.

Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons. Whether it is through email, fax, phone calls, or mail never give out your information.

If you are solicited after bank hours or on weekends, you should call the bank during normal working hours to verify with the bank that more information is needed.

Unsolicited calls should be verified before information is given out.

You can reach the Better Business Bureau at (979) 260-2222.


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