|A card deactivated
scam has been reported to technical support of the
Council of Better Business Bureaus. A consumer reported
receiving a text message from a mysterious phone number,
217-690-9018, claiming that her Visa card had been
deactivated and to call 217-343-7287.
Specifically the scam on Friday that was reported by a consumer
read: "ALERT: Your VISA CARD starting with XXXX has been
DEACTIVATED. Please call 217-343-7287."
The messages appear to be blanketing the region at random.
Consumers are urged to be extremely cautious with any message that
requests credit or debit card information or any other sensitive
personal information. These contacts often are scams perpetuated by
people looking to commit identity theft. Financial institutions
never request information in this way. This is commonly referred to
as a vishing scam.
What is a vishing scam?
A vishing scam is a scam that careful consumers, and essentially
anyone who possesses a credit or debit card and cellphone, need to
know about in order to avoid getting scammed. In particular, the
vishing scam is a way to elicit either banking or credit card
information from someone, which may then be used against the person.
Scammers who do this want the information so they can gain access to
credit cards or bank accounts in order to commit fraud.
The typical vishing scam makes use of Voice Over Internet
Protocol, VoIP, which allows people to talk over their computer
lines and can allow for multiple dialings of numbers at the same
time. These scammers may work from a list of regional phone numbers
or even from a phone book, but what they mainly do is call everyone
they can and leave an automated message saying that the person's
credit card or account has been compromised, depleted or closed.
When this process is done by email, it's called phishing instead of
People who are left a message are given instructions to call a
number to get more information about the alleged compromise.
Scammers often use toll-free numbers for this purpose. For people
with caller ID, the scammers may even have the legitimate name of
the company that is supposedly calling. When people call the number,
they're instructed to dial in their credit card number or bank
account number, and even sometimes information like personal
identification numbers, known as PINs, or their Social Security
[to top of second column]
Once this information is obtained, callers may speak to a person
posing as a "representative," or they may never get to a
representative and are placed on hold. Meanwhile, the damage is done
and the scammers may then use the information to steal money or
credit card numbers.
The main thing to remember is to NEVER call the number listed on
any potential vishing scam calls. This will not take you to your
bank or credit card company, and if you give out your information,
you're likely to have it stolen.
It is simple to avoid a scam transmitted through text messaging
on cellphones. Instead of calling the number given, locate the
telephone number for your financial institution account or your
credit card phone number and call that number instead. If you're
being vished, a financial institution or credit card company can
tell you this immediately by letting you know that there has been no
illegal activity on your account or any security compromise of your
These scams can seem very real, though, because they often
contain warnings about not divulging your personal information,
which may make a potential target feel the company calling, texting
or emailing is protecting their interests. Naturally, consumers are
troubled when they hear that something of theirs has been
compromised, let alone one's bank account. It may take just a brief
bit of research to find out the number is not legitimate, but that
is time well spent.
[Text from file received from the
Better Business Bureau of
For 100 years, the Better Business
Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and
charities they can trust. In 2012, consumers turned to BBB more than
100 million times for reviews on more than 4 million companies and
reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at
www.bbb.org. The Council of Better
Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 114 local,
independent BBBs across the United States and Canada, as well as
home to BBB national programs on dispute resolution and industry