Madison Police Issue Warning About Text Message Scam

Several complaints have been made from Madison residents about text messages that come in, asking them to dial a number and submit information about bank accounts.


Madison Police Public Information Officer Joseph Race said Madison police have received several complaints about text messaging scams that ask people to dial a number and submit information about their bank accounts.

"We have heard reports of people receiving text messages about a credit card being deactivated and asking for the recipient to call in," Race said. Then, the caller is asked to submit information about their bank account in a series of prompts. "Then, a few weeks later, someone is taking money out of their account," he said.

People should never respond to unsolicited text messages or phone messages purporting to be from their bank, Race said. "If it's unsolicited, chances are it might be a scam," he said.

Race said similar reports have been made to Milford police. According to an article in the New Haven Register, one resident there was scammed out of more than $1,200.

According to police, the resident indicated on Saturday that he had received a text message stating it was a credit alert regarding the deactivation of his bank card and it instructed him to contact a phone number provided in the text to re-activate his card. The resident followed the instructions and provided his account and PIN number during the automated voice response. The message also instructed him to create a new PIN number which he did, police said. On Monday, the victim inquired with his credit union about the automated phone call he had received. A review of the victim’s account showed six unauthorized transactions at ATM locations in California totaling $1,213, police said.

A similar scam was reported by the Better Business Bureau in 2010, involving Wachovia Bank.

The Madison police have heard from several residents about similar scams, Race said. "We had two yesterday, and some last week as well," he said. "Never call a number that comes in over your phone. If you need to call your bank to check it out, use the phone number of the bank that you already have."

Beth Smith May 11, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Received one of these last night about 15 minutes after reading your post here. Thanks for the heads up. I'm acutely aware of spam and phishing; however, my version of the faux notification told me that my Connex Credit Union card was deactivated, which looked a little more "real" than generic spam. Also came from a 203-663-xxxx number and looked pretty darn local. Curious where they obtained this info originally...
Pem McNerney May 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Thanks for letting us know. Glad the story was useful. That is interesting, and alarming, that they had enough info to make it seem credible. Might be worth reporting it to your credit union (via a number you already have).
C.S. May 13, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Also as a rule of thumb a bank or financial institution will never e-mail, text, or inquire about your password or PIN. If you ever receive such a notice never follow the link provided in the e-mail, rather log out completely, then log back in to whatever account the correspondence was referring to. Then you will see that everything is in order and that nothing is or was compromised. I get these all the time from people trying to get my iTuned info.


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