WBA Consumer Alert: Telephone Phishing Attack in Progress
calls claiming to be from a bank seeking personal information
WBA Press Release, April 29, 2010
MADISON – Wisconsin consumers need to be prepared for the possibility of a
phone scam targeting cell phone users, warns the Wisconsin Bankers
Association (WBA). Reports are filtering in that some consumers are
receiving telephone calls from criminals claiming to be a bank and that
the customer’s accounts have been compromised.
Consumers are reporting they have received a recorded phone message on
their cell phones that starts out with “Bank.” It does not state any
specific bank. The recorded message then states that the customer’s
account has been compromised and to please press “one” to be connected
with the security department. The person is then asked to input their
debit card number.
Telephone phishing scams can be extremely convincing as many people are
still unaware of this method of fraud. An educated, cautious consumer is
the number one defense against any scam. When consumers receive phone
calls or e-mails from agencies claiming to be a financial institution
and requesting verification of their personal information, consumers
should protect themselves by following these steps:
Stop. Do not respond immediately.
Think. Why would my bank need this information?
Call. The number on your bank statement or in the phone
“No bank or legitimate business will request a customer to verify personal
information such as PINs, bank account numbers or Social Security
numbers over the phone,” explained Kurt Bauer, WBA’s president/CEO.
“Unless you initiate the contact, you should never give this information
Personal information that you should never release in a conversation not
initiated by you includes:
If a person receives this type of request over the phone,
WBA suggests they should note the name of the caller, the institution
represented and contact information. The consumer should then contact said
institution, using contact information gleaned from a different source like a
bank statement, to verify the request.
If the request was not legitimate, the incident should be reported to the
police, the misrepresented institution and, if you mistakenly offered your
personal information, your own financial institution. The same guidelines and
suggestions apply to e-mail requests for personal information.
“Criminals are constantly inventing new techniques or variations on old ones to
steal personal information,” Bauer said. “If a consumer is ever in doubt about a
request, they should immediately contact the police or their financial
institution. Both agencies are well equipped to determine the legitimacy of the
request and will be happy to offer assistance.”
Baylake Bank serves its
communities from 28 financial centers in Brown, Door, Green Lake, Kewaunee,
Manitowoc, Outagamie, Waupaca, and Waushara counties and from its website at
www.baylake.com. For more information call
(920) 743-5551 or 1-800-267-3610.