Bank warns of scam targeting ATM card numbers
By Kathy Chaffin
Local bank customers are being warned not to ever give out their debit/ ATM card numbers after a telephone scam in the area Friday.
Steve Fisher, senior executive vice president and general counsel for F&M Bank, said, “There’s never a point where we’re going to ask you to give us financial information because we already have it.”
If customers receive a call from their bank that they think is legitimate, he suggested that they hang up and call the bank back to make sure.
F&M was one of at least three local banks that reported customers receiving calls alerting them that their debit/ATM cards had been frozen and asking them to key in their card numbers so they could be released. The callers identified themselves as representatives of the customers’ respective banks, according to Tonya Barber, security officer for F&M Bank.
Fisher said, “I think they’re just targeting this area. They’re using an electronic voice I guess to make it sound as if they are legitimate, and folks are responding to it.”
Barber said the callers are using caller ID spoofing so people receiving the calls are not able to trace the numbers. The numbers that have been showing up are legitimate businesses, she said, some of them in Idaho and Florida.
Fisher said this type of scam is not unusual. “That’s why it’s important to get the word out,” he said.
Barber said 10 or more customers from each of F&M’s 11 branches have reported receiving calls. Some branches have had a lot more customers to receive the calls, she said.
Unfortunately, Barber said some of the customers reporting the calls did key in their numbers. She said their cards were immediately put on a hot card list and new ones ordered for them.
People who have received a call and given out their debit/ATM card numbers should not wait until Monday when the banks open to report it. Barber recommended that they call the number on back of the card to report stolen cards so they can’t be used.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-7683.