Debit Card Holders Warned Of Local Scam

WATERTOWN (CBS) – In several local towns recently, police said residents are getting calls claiming their debit card has been locked, and they’ve got to give up their numbers and security question answers to unlock it.

Mary Jo Nash of Waltham said she almost got robo-scammed twice this month on her home phone and cell phone. One call came at 5:30 a.m.

“It was a recording telling us that our Sovereign Bank has been compromised and to press ‘1.’ I hung up. I figured it was a scam,” said Walsh.

WBZ-TV’s Paul Burton reports.

Police said dozens of people in Watertown, Waltham, Newton and Belmont are getting robo-calls. The calls are recorded messages asking for people’s personal information.

“All that type of personal and financial information can be used to commit crimes. They can go online and start buying things. They can start using fraudulent charges,” said Lt. Christopher Munger of the Watertown Police Department.

Lt. Munger said he also got robo-called at home.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports.

“The recording was asking for…it explained that they had a stop on my debit card, and that in order to get that rectified, I would have to press ‘1’ for more information,” said Lt. Munger.

Police advise consumers to never provide their personal information over the phone, especially a social security number or bank account number. They would never ask for it because they already have it.

Police said if you think you’ve been scammed, it’s important to take action.

“If you think you are a victim of a fraud like this, what you would probably do is first contact your financial institution to see if it was them making a legitimate call and they can guide you on the different steps to take,” said Lt. Munger.

Police said they simply don’t have the resources to trace where all of these calls are coming from. Many show up with North Dakota or California area codes.


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