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David N. Kirkman
Task Force Alert
Asst Attorney General
Consumer Protection
NC Department of
P.O. Box 629
Raleigh, NC 27602

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North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services

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Automated Calls fr. Bank Security Department

Task Force member David Fox of the Consumer Protection Division has been in contact with officials of a community bank in North Carolina that was the target this past weekend, along with its depositors, of an elaborate hoax featuring automatically dialed, pre-recorded messages purporting to be from the bank’s security department. It appears that the overseas con artists in question pretend to be from different banks on different days. David shares the following excerpt from an email message to bank personnel:

You may have received emails or may have seen on the Channel 14 news a story about a “scam” that was going on Saturday. The scam is called “vishing”, and the purpose of Saturday’s hoax was to obtain cardholder information including card number, expiration date, and PINs on debit and credit cards obviously to gain access to accounts in order to steal people’s money.

These scams are computer-based, and numbers are electronically dialed at random. Calls were received by both customers and non-customers, but in all cases, an automated recording advised whoever took the call to contact (North Carolina bank’s) Security Department at a telephone number also provided, as their card had been “suspended”. When customers called back, they were walked through an automated system that first said the caller had reached the (North Carolina bank’s) Security Department and proceeded to prompt the customer to enter card number, expiration date, and PIN in order to “activate fraud protection on their account”.

Thankfully, some of our concerned customers called us! Our Associates reacted quickly, and we have since hot carded any cards known to be affected, contacted the appropriate authorities, placed messages on our websites and switchboard voice mail, sent a broadcast via email advising our cardholders of the scam, and have been diligently monitoring our card accounts for any suspicious activity.

Should you receive inquiries about this, please be assured this was a scam that originated outside our organization. In fact, based on the activity we have been monitoring, it appears this has international ties in Spain and Romania, which is not uncommon in the world of card-related fraud……And please take the opportunity to remind our customers that we would NEVER call them in this fashion and that we would NEVER ask them to provide this type information. Whenever we contact our customers, we already have the account level info we need, and we would NEVER EVER ask for a PIN, password, or any code unique to a customer!

******End of Alert******

Date: January 14, 2008

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NC Senior Consumer
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