Text message scam targeting Bank of America customers
Text message scam targeting Bank of America customers Video by fox4now.comvideo
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Crooks are using your cell phone to steal your cash in a sophisticated new phishing scam targeting Bank of America customers.
Cape Coral legal assistant Christleen Martin just finished checking her online Bank of America statement when she got a text message.
"It was from Bank of America and it said that my account was put on hold," said Martin. "And that I needed to call a number."
The text directed Martin to call 866-207-9420 "now to find out how to remove restrictions placed on your Bank Of America account, Thank you."
Fox 4 called the number.
"Thank you for calling Bank of America," an automated voice said. "The activation process will take only a few minutes."
Martin says she knew it was a scam and called the number to find out what kind of information they were looking for. She went through the automated process entering false information.
"It prompts you to enter your card number," said Martin. "It asked for my expiration date, my card verification number on the back. It also asked for my birth date, Social Security number and PIN."
It's sensitive information that could be a treasure trove for an identity thief.
"It sounds very scary," said Martin. "If you didn't know it was a scam you maybe would have given all that information."
Bank of America confirms this is a scam.
"Requests for personal information, or a call for immediate action, are almost always a scam," said Bank of America spokesman TJ Crawford. "When in doubt don't respond instead call the number on the back of your card."
Bank of America wouldn't say how many people have been affected by this scam. They say they work with authorities to get the phone lines shut down when they're made aware of scams.
Cape Coral police say going after these scammers isn't always easy.
"The phone number could very well be just automatically generated from a software program," said Lt. Tony Sizemore, who noted it might not be "a legitimate phone number, it's a cover. So they could very well be virtually untraceable."
Which is why Martin hopes people don't fall for this latest phishing scam.
"Don't fall for these numbers," she said. "Call your bank."
Bank of America urges anyone who accidentally gave out their personal information to call them so they can block the card an issue a new one.
As of Wednesday night the 866 number appeared to no longer be working. Authorities warn the scam can pop back up using different numbers.