RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A new twist on a popular scam is draining bank accounts across the country. The scariest part is how much the scammers know about their victims.
It starts with the call from a person who sounds like they’re trying to help to protect your money.READ MORE: ERCOT CEO Bill Magness Voted Out By Board Of Directors
“‘Hi, this is Kevin with BB&T. I work in the fraud department and we think your card is being compromised right now.'” That’s what the man on the phone told Candace Terrell of North Carolina.
He told her they needed to freeze her account, but first she needed to verify some information.
“[He said] ‘I’m going to transfer you to an automated line, and it’s going to prompt you to enter your PIN,'” Terrell said.
Richardson resident Lauren Mead received a similar call days later.
“It was the same number as the BB&T Fraud Department,” Mead said.
The man knew her name, address and card number but said he needed to verify her identity with security questions.
For several minutes, he repeatedly put her on hold claiming he needed to speak with his supervisor.
“Every time he was doing that, putting me on hold, he was taking more money from my account,” Mead said.
Terrell said the scammers cleaned out her accounts while she was still on the phone.
“He went in my online banking and transferred all the money out of my savings, into my checking,” Terrell said.
In both cases, the real BB&T fraud department tried to warn the women, but the scammers had a plan to thwart those efforts.
When the bank emailed an alert to Terrell, the scammers flooded her inbox with spam.READ MORE: The 12 COVID Tax Changes You Need To Know Before Filing This Year
“I was getting hundreds of emails simultaneously, so now I realize that was a distraction so that I wouldn’t see [the alert],” Terrell said.
When the real BB&T called Mead, the man told her not to click over because he was already on the case.
She said the call, which came from the same number as the original call, made the situation more convincing.
“Obviously, something’s going on because everybody’s trying to get ahold of me right now,” she said.
By the time the women hung up, their money was gone.
Terrell lost more than $2,300 and Mead lost almost $2,500. Both said their local branches were already familiar with the scheme.
“I was the fourth person to come in that day with the exact same scam,” said Terrell.
In an email to The Ones For Justice, BB&T said the scam is “not limited to” the bank, calling it an “industry-wide attack.”
You can read their full statement below:
Recently, the financial services industry has identified a new scam where fraudsters use “spoofed” telephone numbers that change the caller ID to look like it originates from a bank. This “spoofing” scam is not limited to BB&T or the result of a BB&T data breach. This is an industry-wide attack. Fraudsters have been able to obtain consumer data in a variety of different ways and sources which have been highly publicized over the past few years. We continue to communicate with our clients that we will never ask for their “credentials” and they should never disclose their PINs. These communications are just one way we are trying to protect our clients.
As fraudsters become more sophisticated, consumer must be increasingly vigilant.
Here’s what consumers can do:MORE NEWS: Marie Tippit, Widow Of Dallas Officer Killed By Lee Harvey Oswald, Passes Away At 92
• Beware of suspicious calls, texts or emails requesting personal or sensitive account information
• Keep all passwords, PINs and one-time passcodes secret
• BB&T, for example, does NOT ask clients to verify their one time passcode, PIN, password or online banking credentials in an unsolicited phone call or text
• BB&T clients should report suspicious calls texts or emails claiming to be BB&T to 800-BANK-BBT (800-226-5228) or InternetFraud@bbandt.com
• If a person has already provided information to a suspicious call, text or email contact your financial institution immediately
• BB&T clients can learn more about protecting their information from scams and cyber threats on Security Central by clicking here.