Tennessee cell phone scam has victims handing over debit card information

Jun 29, 2012 14:26:32Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Tennessee cell phone scam has victims handing over debit card information

Some residents of Tipton County, Tennessee, have been hit by a cell phone scam that threatens their mobile privacy and may cause them some financial woes, according to the news channel WMC-TV. A number of bank customers in the area recently received automated messages claiming that their debit card had been compromised and urging them to deactivate it right away.

"It was an automated system asking for debit card information, expiration dates and then asks for your pin number and I thought something was wrong. I called back and they said the card had been deactivated," victim Kevin McDivitt told the news source.

McDivitt decided to ignore the calls, but they kept coming in until he picked up. The system then asked for more personal information, including the last four digits of his Social Security number. This prompted him to call the police, who said they had received a series of similar complaints in recent weeks. Furthermore, deputies from the county revealed that there were three separate banks in the region whose customers had been receiving such calls.

"Definitely it's an ID theft scam and that's what they're trying to do is get money from your account," Captain Shannon Beasley of the local sheriff's department told the news outlet.

Police are now reminding local residents to never give any personal information over the phone, especially to an automated system, the media outlet reports.

Cell phone scams such as this are not the only method scammers use to gain access to a person's bank account. According to ScamBusters.org, subscriber fraud is one of the common forms of cell phone scam. This involves the theft of a phone users' personal information, which is then used to open a new cell phone account in the victim's name. This results in a hefty and surprising cell phone bill for the victim.

"Smishing" is another common scam, which typically occurs when a cell phone owner receives a text message claiming he or she has won some sort of prize, such as a new TV or free vacation. The message also includes a link in the text which, if clicked on, gives the hacker access to personal data on the device. Being aware of such scams can help you protect your financial security and mobile privacy.