‘Spoofed’ bank phone number compromises woman’s debit account


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Scammers claiming they’re from your bank’s fraud department are calling East Tennesseans.

A woman in Maryville was recently conned out of $4,000 after being told her bank account was compromised – proving that some scammers are slick enough to fool you into believing them.

Admittedly, Melissa Cable says she was caught unaware, but that won’t happen again.

When the first call came in, the caller I.D. showed her bank was on the line. The caller claiming some withdrawals had been made against her account out of state; the man on the phone said he was from her bank’s fraud department.

“They told me I had two transactions trying to come through from Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” Cable told WATE 6 On Your Side’s Don Dare. “I said, ‘those aren’t mine, I’m sitting here in my living room.’ They said one was $500 and the other was for $300-and-something.”

Cable said the guy identified himself as “Kevin.” He claimed he was with BB&T’s fraud department and that her account had been flagged. Cable said she told him to dispute the charges, however, “Kevin” said there was a second issue.

“He said, ‘It looks like your bank account may have been compromised because I see several failed log-in attempts under this ID,'” Cable said. “And, they gave this ID that was not mine. Then, he said, ‘well, they must have successfully gotten into it, I’ll go ahead and block this one. Do you have another I.D. that you use?’ I said, you should have it. I’ve been banking with you for 20 years, hasn’t changed any. He said ‘once they changed your I.D., I can’t see what your previous one was.'”

Cable said “Kevin” then read off the last four digits on her debit card and assured her the bank would send her a new one, to be delivered in 7-10 business days. He also told her he blocked the user I.D. and needed to block her other one, too. She gave it to him.

She said she believed “Kevin” because she had received a similar call about some fraudulent activity when she was traveling out of state.

About half an hour after the call from “Kevin,” Cable said her bank’s real fraud department called her.

“They said we see some fraudulent activity coming out of Atlanta, Georgia and I said you just called me and said I fraudulent activity in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” Cable said.

The bank told her to go online to view the transactions made out of her account, where she saw almost $4,000 had been taken from her account.

The Bank Policy Institute, an advocacy group, issued this warning to customers that sophisticated bank scams are on the rise across the country.

BB&T sent these warnings to 6 On Your Side:

  • Customers should keep all passwords and PINs secret.
  • That BB&T does not ask customers to verify their pass code or PIN.

Melissa’s received a new temporary card, BB & T has filed a dispute, and she’s expected to get her money back.

“I should have called back. I should have called back. That’s taught me a valuable lesson,” Cable said. “Always verify. Always verify. Hang up the phone, call them back, that the number you know and go from there.”

Scammers use the “spoofed” phone numbers that change the caller I.D. to look like it originates from a bank.

If there is a fraudulent activity on your account, you may receive a call from your bank’s fraud department, but they are not going to ask for a password or PIN, no matter how persuasive it sounds.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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