Phone scams target bank customers

December 2, 2008 5:00:32 PM PST
There's a warning for anyone living in Montgomery County -- scammers are after your personal information and some of them are posing as a local bank.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Police tell us these phone scams started popping up the day after Thanksgiving, during a very busy shopping day. Anyone with a bank account or a credit card should be on alert.

Richard Legg has received a lot of calls in his life, but none more strange than the one he received last Friday.

He recalled, "There was a recorder that said that your Visa card has been suspended."

The recording indicated the call came from Texas Community Bank. The only problem is, Legg doesn't have an account with that company. Fearing a scam, he did the only thing he could think of to do.

"I didn't say anything," Legg explained. "I didn't even answer. Then I just hung the phone up."

Police say it's a good thing he did that. The recording prompts people to give out their credit card numbers and personal IDs. At least three different scams are going around using various business names. They're primarily targeting folks living in Montgomery County.

"As of this morning, we've received over 30 calls," said Sgt. Bob Berry with the Conroe Police Department.

Police suspect the calls are coming from outside the state, with numbers altered to appear local. Police also believe it's no coincidence why the scam artists chose this time of year.

Sgt. Berry explained, "We see scams all the time, but especially in this heavy shopping season that we're seeing now. People are distracted and they're more easily apt to become victims."

So far, police say no one has fallen for the scam, refusing to offer up personal information. Legg suspects it's just a matter of time, unless the perpetrators are caught.

Police tell us you should be suspicious if any company asks for personal information, such as your credit card number or Social Security number. If that happens to you, the best advice is to call your credit card company and verify for yourself.

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