With the Christmas season in full swing the scammers are also on the prowl as I mentioned in my last scam alert article but this one didn’t just strike me but rather the entire town I live in, all in one day.
How The Debit Card Scam Works
In all started last week Thursday when my wife received a phone call from our local bank claiming that our debit card had been locked and that we needed to confirm our account information in order to unlock it.
My wife knew this was a scam right from the get go since she works at the very bank that they were calling from. From there the scammers called almost every number in the local area including my in laws who didn’t even bank there.
Luckily, in the end only a small handful of people gave away their personal information and of the people who did bank there were able to reverse and stop the transactions.
What Makes This Scam Different From Others
This scam is different from a lot of the other scams I’ve seen because instead of targeting bigger banks, or companies, they chose to contact people from a smaller community bank.
Doing this allowed the scammers to be a lot more focused with their efforts and pin point a select group of people who would likely be more susceptible to fall for the scam.
On top of that people are use to seeing scams that hit bigger banks and businesses, not a smaller local bank. However, as targeted as this scam was it still amazes me that only a handful of people only fell for it. Things could have been a lot worse.
What also made this scam a bit different was that they were only targeting debit card holders. The reason I think they are targeting debit cards is because once they have your account info nothing is stopping them from draining your account.
Unlike credit cards they will have identity theft protection built right into the card and if a bunch of odd transactions come up it will automatically throw a red flag.
With debit cards there is no fraud or identity theft protection. If these scammers happen to get your info there will be nothing stopping them from taking everything in your account. On top of that getting your money back can be next to impossible if you don’t notify your bank soon enough.
In the end your best protection is being prepared and below is a list of tips to help you protect yourself.
5 Tips To Spot This Scam And Protect Yourself
When it comes to this scam there are several things that came to mind as to why this was a scam. Below is a list of things I’ve come up with.
- Verify Your Account Info. First off, if anyone ask you to verify your account info don’t do it. This is literally the oldest trick in the book. No bank, or company will ever ask you to confirm your account details.
- Automated Calls. The second thing that was a big tip off that this was a scam was that the call was completely automated. Your bank would never automate a call like this, especially when it comes to your account information.
- Hang Up Immediately. Next, when you get a call like this and you realize it is a scam just hang up immediately, don’t give these scammers the benefit of the doubt and hang up on them.
- Contact Your Bank. Once you’ve hung up, call your local bank to verify it is a scam. However make sure you call them at there main office number and not by a number provided by the scammers.
- Contact The Authorities. Finally, notify the authorities about the scam. Your local police may not be able to catch the scammers but if they are targeting your local bank or company at least they will be able to get the word out and inform others.
These scammers have yet to be caught but as long as you can spot the warning signs you should be able to avoid them. So how about you, have you ever been hit up by the debit card scam? Share your thoughts and comments below.