Wednesday, February 25 2009
According to Lloyd Winnecke, Vice President of Marketing at Fifth Third Bank, area residents have been getting text messages on their cell phones informing the owners that their credit card has been deactivated and that the bank customer should call 604-288-8539 to activate the card. This text message is a scam. Fifth Third Bank will not send out text messages. The article has also useful guidelines regarding identity theft.
Text Scam Hits Area
Several people have contacted FOX 7 news to report receiving unusual text messages.
Fifth Third Bank has been receiving similar calls. The text messages are an apparent scam to get credit card numbers. The following is a release from Fifth Third Bank on the issue.
EVANSVILLE - Scam artists are once again targeting Evansville area residents by attempting to fraudulently obtain credit card and debit card numbers.
Several customers of Fifth Third Bank report having received a text message on their cellular phone that says: “Dear Bank Customer, your credit card has been deactivated. For credit card access, call (604) 288-8539 to reactivate.” When the customer calls the number, they receive a message that prompts them to enter their card number.
“This is scam; it’s a blatant attempt to rip off unsuspecting consumers,” offered Lloyd Winnecke, Vice President and Marketing Director for Fifth Third Bank in Evansville. “The bank does not communicate legitimate customer account issues in this fashion. If consumers have specific questions or concerns regarding their accounts, they should contact the bank for assistance,” Winnecke added.
As a reminder, there are several tips to keep in mind to help protect personal bank information and to reduce the chances of card fraud:
• Shred all personal and financial information — such as bills, bank statements, ATM receipts and credit card offers — before you throw it away.
• Keep your personal documentation (e.g., birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.) and your bank and credit card records in a secure place.
• Call the post office immediately if you are not receiving your mail. To get the personal information needed to use your identity, a thief can forge your signature and have your mail forwarded.
• Be aware of your surroundings when entering your Personal Identification Number (PIN) at an ATM.
• Limit the number of credit cards and other personal information that you carry in your wallet or purse.
• Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
• Review and consider whether you need currently inactive card accounts. Even when not being used, these accounts appear on your credit report, which is accessible to thieves. If you have applied for a credit card and have not received the card in a timely manner, immediately notify the appropriate financial institution.
• Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards. Contact the credit issuer if the replacement card is not received prior to your credit card's expiration date.
• Sign all new credit cards upon receipt.
• Review your credit reports annually.
• Use passwords on your credit cards, bank accounts and phone cards. Avoid using the obvious passwords — your mother's maiden name, your birth date or the last four digits of your Social Security or phone number.
• Match your credit card receipts against monthly bills to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.
• Volunteer any personal information when you use your credit card.
• Give your Social Security number, credit card number or any bank account details over the phone unless you have initiated the call and know that the business that you are dealing with is reputable.
• Leave receipts at ATMs, bank counters or unattended gasoline pumps.
• Leave envelopes containing your credit card payments or checks in your home mailbox for postal carrier pickup.
• Record your Social Security number or passwords on paper and store them in your wallet or purse. Memorize your numbers and/or passwords.
• Disclose bank account numbers, credit card account numbers or other personal financial data on any Web site or online service location, unless you receive a secured authentication key from your provider.