Dial, deceive, and drain your account

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - Police say the scheme traces all the way to Spain, but it is like they're right next door. Scammers are now tapping into East Texas land lines and cells, trying to get their hands on your ATM card numbers, and ultimately your cash. "In a 7 on Your Side" warning, that police and banks want you to make sure you're on the listen-out.

"Hello, this is a message from Mineola Community Bank," said the scam's message. "After many frauds, we've suspended your ATM card. Please press one to be transferred to our security department."

Joyce Taylor got the call last night. They knew the name of her bank. She pressed, one.

"It really never crossed my mind that it wasn't legit," said Taylor.

"Hello," the message said. "Thank you for calling our 24 hour security department. To reactivate your card, please press one."

Taylor proceeded, eventually entering her ATM card number.

"It came back and said your card has been reactivated," she said. "I feel like a fool."

"We're just really upset about it," said Jim Herlocker, president of Mineola Community Bank. "This problem goes on everyday somewhere in the United States, everyday. Just so happens they picked Mineola Community Bank, today."

He says customer calls are pouring in. He's keeping a list of the scam numbers from all over the place. It doesn't matter who the scammers call.

"The motivation is money," said Capt. Joyce Box. "Once they get into your account, they're going to clean it out, and if they can just get two or three victims out of the phone calls, then they're going to get what they want."

"If they asked for my social security number, I probably would have given that too," said Taylor. "That's what's scary to me...that I was that off guard."

But never again...

Police say Wood County National Bank has also been named in the recording, or no bank at all. Mineola Community Bank says they will reimburse customers who gave out their account numbers, and cancel their cards. They warn never give that information over the phone.