Is that phone call really from your bank?

Posted at 9:22 AM, Mar 01, 2016

If that phone rings, and the caller ID has your bank's name on it, be careful.

Be very careful.

A new robo-calling scam is targeting bank customers, and even many people who are not customers.

Problem With Your Debit Card?

Nancy Downing is among a number of people who have received the call in recent days. 

The woman says an automated call told her and her husband "there is a problem with your debit card," and that it was going to be locked from any further use.

The call asked her to punch in her debit card's number to "unlock" it.

Luckily, she was suspicious. The call came to a cell phone, and she was certain the bank did not have her cell phone number. 

So she called her bank where she learned it was a scam, apparently designed to steal debit card numbers.

Call Requests Personal Information

Stephen Taylor also received the call, found it convincing at first, and began following the instructions. He said by following the prompts in the call "you get automatic requests for your account number and PIN."

At that point he stopped, realizing the bank would never ask you to enter your PIN into a phone call.

He was correct. Sharing that information would allow a hacker to instantly access your checking account.

Non Customers Get Call Too

The calls appear to target cell phone customers at random.

The most recent call claims to be from Fifth Third Bank. Similar "phishing" scams have targeted customers of Bank of America, PNC, US Bank, and other large banks in recent months.

The bottom line: your bank will never call you asking you to confirm an account number or debit/ATM card number.

If you get a call like that hang up, and call your bank.  But make sure you call their real number (found on Google), not the number calling you.

That way you don't waste your money.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

"Like" John Matarese on Facebook

Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese )

Sign up for John's free Newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox

Click here formore DWYM reports and to contact John