7 On Your Side: Scammer Calling In The Dead Of Night - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

07/03/08 - Tyler

7 On Your Side: Scammer Calling In The Dead Of Night

They're waking you in the dead of the night, all to try and steal your identity.

In a new scam, callers claiming to be from Franklin Bank are dialing east Texans' cell phones and home phones asking for your account information. We recently told you about another scam using Franklin Bank's name, but that was in a text message.

Tonight, in a 7 On Your Side investigation, KLTV 7's Courtney Lane examines this latest scam.


Hearing a phone ring in the middle of the night can be jarring. But when it's part of a scam to steal your identity, it can be frightening.

"To be awakened at 2:48 am in the morning by a bank, I knew something was wrong."

Todd Martin of Tyler got the call twice.

He says both times he was asked to enter his Franklin Bank account information because something was wrong.

"There may have been a breach with your Franklin Bank account - please call this number immediately."

And he's not alone.

Tyler Police and the Better Business Bureau of east Texas say they've been flooded with calls about this scam.

"We've talked to so many people and assured them that this is not coming from Franklin Bank," said Kay Robinson with the Better Business Bureau.

"The message from law enforcement: do not do not give any information whatsoever to anyone over the phone," Don Martin of Tyler PD told us today.

Authorities say it's hard to detect the phony call, because it's coming from different numbers, and once you answer, it may be a real person or a recorded message.

"We're dealing with automatic dialers that are just boom, sending these out," said Don Martin.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they have gotten some victims," said Robinson, "especially with the Franklin Banks in our area, Jacksonville and Tyler - you think about it, you get a new credit card. Oh, I forgot to get that authorized. Well, I'm going to go ahead and get that done as quickly as possible. Next thing you know, your whole account may be totally wiped out."

Todd Martin didn't fall for it, but he still can't believe scammers are going this far by calling at such a vulnerable time.

"When a phone rings that time of night, it's either somebody is in the hospital or something worse. So that was my first immediate thought, and of course I really couldn't go back to sleep after that, because I'm worried about the call number one...number two then I'm thinking all night does somebody else have my account information?"

On their website, Franklin Bank warns they will not contact customers for this information.

If you do get a call, simply hang up.

Courtney Lane, Reporting clane@kltv.com

 

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