“Tis the season,” said Steve Kemp, CEO of United Community Bank. “This is a little bit different twist but typically it’s the same theme.”
Kemp said the con artist is either calling or texting United Community Bank customers in a bid to access bank accounts through debit cards.
Pete Sailors, a detective with the Rome Police Department, said the calls are either an automated text or automated phone call with a message that the caller’s debit card has been frozen.
“Somebody phony is calling customers claiming to be us and asking for information that we would not ask for,” Kemp said. “This text message was a little different, but they claim to be from UCB and they are saying that we’ve locked their card up and they should press 1 to unlock it,” Kemp said.
Sailors said three or four people had contacted Rome police and he had heard from several other banks as well, including Greater Rome Bank.
If anyone has followed the caller’s instructions, the information they surrender could be at risk. Sailors said he is not aware of anyone who has fallen for the scam yet.
The calls are coming from all areas of the country.
Last year around this time a similar scam was targeting credit card and debit card users, Sailors said.
Kemp said the bank would handle those cases individually, typically by closing that debit card and issuing the customer a new one.
Kemp said that the scam popped up system wide Wednesday morning.
Sailors said anyone who receives one of the calls should hang up and contact their local bank or credit card company to see if the call is authentic.