By now, pretty much everyone knows that when one receives an email purportedly coming from a bank or a financial institution, extreme caution and distrust is in order.
We have been warned time and again that banks would never send an email demanding you to send them back your personal or account information, let alone your PIN number.
The repeated warnings have obviously brought results, and scammers have started reverting to good old phone phishing. The phishers call the victim up and deliver the usual spiel of how the victim’s account/credit card might have been compromised and would they mind confirming their account number, PIN or password to make sure that it hasn’t?
According to ConsumerAffairs.com, the Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett is warning the state residents that the number of phishing calls of this kind has increased recently, and that the scammers are using live operators and automated calls to create an aura of legitimacy.
“While some businesses may contact consumers to alert them about potential problems with their accounts, they will not ask individuals to divulge all of their account information by phone or email,” he reiterates the mantra we all (should) know well.
If you are on the receiving end of such a call, it’s always better to end it without divulging any information and call your bank’s customer service hotline (the number is usually printed on your card or your monthly statement) to check if the call was legitimate.
This way, you’ll not only be sure, but you will also warn the bank about the scheme, making it possible for them to investigate the matter and warn other customers.