Bank of the Carolinas has learned of a recent scam that targets debit cardholders associated with a multitude of banks across the country. In this scam the cardholder receives computer-generated calls claiming to be from their financial institution. The calls claim their accounts have been frozen and then direct them to call a toll-free number to leave their debit card information in order to reactivate any cards. The toll-free number includes a recorded message that asks customers to key in their account number, card expiration date, and PIN using the telephone keypad.
Please be aware that this call is fraudulent. If you receive a call like this, hang up the phone. Do not provide any of the requested information!
Most legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for information they should already have. If you receive a request that seems legitimate, check it out before you actually disclose any confidential information:
- Look or listen for clues in the message that might indicate that it is a hoax, such as:
- Urgency Most fraudulent communications will include something designed to concern or excite you in an attempt to entice you to act quickly without thinking.
- Errors Scam communications may contain a number of grammatical or (in the case of emails) spelling errors.
- Call your bank or visit its website to try to verify whether the message is legitimate, using phone numbers or internet addresses from your bank statement or account documentation. Do not call back a number provided over the phone or click on a link in an email.
- Make sure you initiate the contact, and that the institution verifies your identity with questions only you would know.
At the time of this release, we do not know of any Bank of the Carolinas customers having been targeted by this particular scam, but we feel that it is important to warn you of this potential threat.
If you are ever victimized by an identity theft scam, be sure to:
- File a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus by calling at least one of the following numbers:
- Equifax 1-800-525-6285
- Experian 1-800-397-3742
- Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
- File a complaint with your local law enforcement.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Notify your financial institution.