Consumers falling victim to sneaky new phone scam

Published: Jul. 29, 2019 at 3:28 PM EDT
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Each year about 24 million Americans are scammed over the phone. Now, an elaborate new scam has people believing their bank is preventing a problem when in reality, it's someone trying to steal money.

Candace Terrell says it started with a simple text notifying her about potentially fraudulent activity on her bank card. Seconds later, her phone rang and the person calling said he was with her bank.

"We're here to help," he told her. "We've caught this pretty quickly, so let's go ahead and put a stop on this card, close it, freeze it out."

He had her address and the last four digits of her card. Even the number on Terrell's caller ID matched her bank's number.

She didn't see any red flags it was a scam.

"He said, 'I have to put you over to an automated line where you will be asked to put in your pin number,'" Terrell said.

As soon as she did that, the con artist had access to her account and took out $2,300.

"They can actually spoof a number, make a number appear to make you pick up the phone," said Scott Schober, a cybersecurity expert.

Schober says scams are getting more sophisticated and demonstrated how easy it is to download a spoofing app and pose as a bank.

That's why Schober says the best thing you can do is question everything. He says know your bank and how it handles fraud alerts.

"Because if you're not familiar with that, you're going to follow through blindly on the scheme," he warned.

Terrell's bank did reimburse her for the stolen cash. Now, she's warning others so they don't fall victim to this scam.