Friday night residents in Northeast New Mexico started getting phone messages seeking personal banking and other information, but by Saturday morning the Federal Trade Commission had taken control of the number and issued a warning to customers, said Craig Reeves, president of the First National Bank of New Mexico.
“The Federal Trade Commission shut them down Saturday,” said Reeves from the bank’s headquarters in Clayton.
The calls started at about 10 p.m. and customers started calling us, Reeves said.
No one gave the callers any personal information that the bank is aware of, Reeves said.
First National Bank of New Mexico has offices in Clayton, Raton, Tucumcari and Logan.
The calls were made to random numbers in Clayton and Logan, some of which belonged to bank customers, Reeves said.
What the thieves do is hack into and use somebody’s system to make recorded calls to a random set of numbers, Reeves said.
The incident is a warning that consumers need to be wary of callers, real or recorded, who are seeking personal information by phone.
“No bank is going to call at 10 p.m.,” Reeves said. “They would never be calling you for your account number. They don't need to ask you your number. They know your numbers.”
The scam is known as “vishing.” Vishing occurs when a criminal configures a dialer to call phone numbers in a given region, according to bank press release.
When the victim answers the call, an automated recording is played to alert the consumer that their debit or credit card has had fraudulent activity or that their bank account has had unusual activity. The message instructs the consumer to call the following phone number immediately. When the victim calls the number, it is answered by automated instructions to enter their credit card number or bank account number on the key pad, the release said.
Once the consumer enters the card number or bank account number, the visher has the information necessary to make fraudulent use of the card or to access the account.
Reeves said that there was no breach of its network and no customer information was compromised.
The only people at risk would be those that call the phone number and provided personal information, Reeves said.
Consumers should be highly suspicious when receiving messages directing them to call and provide credit card or bank numbers, Reeves said. Do not provide any information and contact your bank or credit card company directly to verify the validity of the message. Use phone numbers on your bank statements or from the phone book, he said.
The more customers ignore these type of messages, “the better off we’ll be,” Reeves said.
What is 'vishing' and how to report it
“Vishing” is the use of social engineering and
Voice over Internet Protocol technology (“VoIP”) to gain access to private personal and financial information from consumers. Vishing is possible because VoIP technology allows for
caller ID spoofing, which enables the “visher” to act anonymously.
Source: FTC Division of Consumer and Business Education
and Division of Marketing Practices
Vishing is really just a new take on an old scam—phishing.
You know the drill: you get an e-mail that claims to be from your bank or credit card company asking you to update your account information and passwords (perhaps, it says cleverly, because of fraudulent activity) by clicking on a link to what appears to be a legit website. Don’t do it, of course. It’s just a ruse, nothing more than an illegal identity theft collection system.
If you think you were either a vishing victim or received a suspicious call or e-mail, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.IC3.gov
Source: FBI Web site