Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Telephone/Text Scams on the rise

Tyrone Police Department cautions citizens about divulging personal information.

Several Metro Atlanta agencies, including the Tyrone PD, have received an increasing number of citizen complaints in reference to telephone and/or text messaging scams. Just like on the internet, it is critically important that you do not divulge any personal information over the phone - especially if you did not initiate the phone call.

We took a report at a local business yesterday (Monday March 8, 2010) where persons unknown hijacked their phone system and made over 1400 calls where they impersonated banking institutions in an attempt to retrieve account information from those they called. It is unclear at this time if they were successful as most of the calls were made to numbers outside of our area.

We also received an alert yesterday that several metro agencies have had incidents of text message scams where citizens received a text message stating: "Your card has been deactivated please call [1-800 number]to reactivate your card.”

Upon calling the number, the caller gets a voicemail message that their "accounts have been restricted, please remain on the line to remove the restriction but enter your card number followed by the pound sign, followed by your expiration date.”

If a valid card number is put into the system, it will proceed to ask for social security number for verification and you will never go to a live person.

It is also unclear whether or not this scam has been successful, but out of thousands of calls made there is a good probability for at least some success.

If you receive such a call or message, please do not provide any information. Instead, call or visit your financial instituion to check on your account.
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