Widespread scam spreading throughout state

A publication
of the Oklahoma Bankers Association
Dec. 9, 2005
P.O. Box 18246, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-0246 · (405) 424-5252 · www.oba.com

Oklahoma has seen scams in years past where people have received calls from individuals asking for their banking information, but never in such large numbers in such a short amount of time.

The Oklahoma Bankers Association is receiving reports across the state about scams that seem to be initiated from a single source, with potentially a large number of callers and phone lines at their disposal. Bank customers (often senior citizens) are receiving calls that state the caller is with their bank (without actually naming the bank). The caller says something has created an error on their account and they need to verify information so that it can be corrected.

Other reports vary slightly, with the callers saying they are from the National Bureau of Verification. Customers are then asked to get their bank statement to verify information pertaining to a bank error. In this second version the callers do not claim to be from the bank, and in the first they are non-specific as to the name of the bank – both of which indicate they do not have actual banking information on any of the customers prior to the call.

Reports seem to indicate that there are at least two male callers (one male identifying himself as Peter Daily) and at least two female. The male callers are known to become more aggressive and even belligerent. In the last two days, the OBA has received reports and calls from Shawnee, Okmulgee, Walters, Skiatook, Bristow, Oklahoma City, Duncan and Stonewall. It is unknown how they are targeting senior citizens but this does seem to be the case.

This may only be a function of the larger number of seniors who could potentially be home during the daytime hours when they are placing the calls. In a few isolated cases, customers have stated that the callers knew where they banked, had routing numbers and had the number of their last check. This has not been confirmed but could be accomplished by slick scammers actually leading customers into giving information without realizing they were the source.

Customers need to be warned not to ever give their bank account information or any other personal information out through unsolicited phone calls or e-mails. Any customers receiving such calls should hang up and call the bank back to verify that they are talking with their true bank representative. If anyone has received such a call and thinks they may have inadvertently shared their account information, they should contact their bank immediately and have their account closed and reopen another.

The OBA was able to get the information into the Oklahoman business section in today’s paper thanks to the late evening efforts of reporter Don Mecoy and similar information should appear in the Lawton Constitution, thanks to Lawton Police Department and Megan on the Constitution staff.

Remember: Advantage Bank will NEVER call you and ask you for your ACCOUNT NUMBER!!!