Phone scam warning: Reports of scammers posing as banks

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) — Scam phone calls are not going away anytime soon, and every day we hear about a new scam that targets your pocketbook or wallet. Some of these scammers are putting a “local” spin on their scheme.

“The phone calls themselves are spoofed. They’re pretending to be someone that they’re not and really, it’s a big scam so it’s something to be on the watch for,” said Scott Heffner, senior vice president and director of marketing for the Chemung Canal Trust Company.

Heffner said he’s not sure how it happens, but he knows it’s easy to do and he’s been seeing it happen regularly.

“It’s important for people to not trust the caller ID because you never just know who could be behind that. There’s really no rhyme or reason to these when they happen, but what they’re trying to do is get personal information from people,” said Heffner.

Heffner said it happens a lot with the elderly and senior citizens because the calls have become so advanced and sophisticated. He also said it can happen to anybody, so regardless, everyone should keep their guard up.

Heffner said banks won’t make unsolicited phone calls asking for private information like your social security number or account number. He said banks may ask how they could cross-sell a product, or interest you in a different type of digital service, but they’ll never ask you for any personal information over the phone.

If you’re unsure if a phone call is a scam or not, you can always hang up – and call the number on the back of your bank card instead.

“Don’t say anything, don’t fall for any urgent practices. The best thing to do is to hang up, but If they have any concerns, call their financial institution, and if they do feel they’ve lost any money, to file a police report as well,” said Heffner.

To learn more tips on how to avoid being scammed, and what to do if you’ve fallen for a phone scam, you can click here.


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