Scam Posing as Valley Bank Continues - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Scam Posing as Valley Bank Continues

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Teacher and Tutor Richard Cromwell, like many in the Valley, is well acquainted with the phone scam that's been going around for the past few weeks with fraudsters posing as Gate City Bank.

The recorded message has tried to get the personal information of thousands in the area.

"Hello. This is a message from Gate City Bank. We regret to inform you that your debit MasterCard has been temporarily deactivated. To solve this problem now, press one to be transferred to our phone center," says the recorded scam message.

"After I heard the message I said, 'No. This is obviously a scam. I mean, I don't have an account with these guys and they're asking me to put in personal information over the phone, so I just hung up," says Cromwell.

The scammers have tried calling those with and without accounts at Gate City Bank and they're calling more than once.

"Then the next time they called was March 1, 1:51 p.m. Then they called again that same day, March 1, 9:36 p.m.," he says.

There haven't been any security breaches at the bank. They say it's an automatic dialer hiding behind fake numbers and using local area codes to dial random numbers and reach people on cell, home and work phones. The bank says they think they've been targeted because of their many locations and a greater chance of reaching an actual customer.

The bank says the scam hasn't caused them to lose any customers, but the biggest problem is the number of phone calls.

"We're receiving a large volume of calls into our phone banking, into several of our branches, wherever the calls are kind of concentrated around the state at that time," says Gate City Bank Executive Vice President and Director of Operations Maureen Jelinek.

The bank says they've been in contact with many organizations including the Federal Trade Commission, who is encouraging everyone to report these calls to them.

They say first and foremost, never give out any personal information. If you do, call you bank right away.

They say if the bank needs to contact you, they'll verify who they are talking to, but will never ask for things like your debit card number, PIN, security code or full social security number.

If you have any questions about the caller's identity, hang up and dial the number you know for your bank.

A few major phone carriers suggest blocking scam numbers you receive and reporting them to the Federal Communications Commission to be investigated.


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