Debit card scam blankets Central Indiana

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A word of warning: beware of callers saying your debit card has been suspended.   The calls are likely illegal, but more importantly, if you believe what they are telling you, it could cost you your identity and more.

It started with a call from an unlisted number on Ari Kasle’s personal cell phone, while he was at work.  Ari is a WISH-TV intern.  “I pick it up and it’s an automated voice message saying your debit card has been deactivated.  And, it says please press 1 to speak to a customer representative, ” says Kasle.

“It was an automated caller that came on and said that my debit card had been cancelled,” says Doug Moon, a WISH-TV producer and photojournalist who got a similar call on the same day on his company cell phone.  The call was from a number in Greenwood.

“It was a recorded call, and it was someone with an accent. I couldn’t tell what it was or where the accent was coming from,” says Moon.  Doug immediately hung up.  Ari didn’t.  He pressed 1.

“And they said we want your 16 digit credit card information and the security code on the back.  And  the last digits of your social security,” says Kasle.  He then hung up.

“We get these complaints all the time.  We’ve gotten 66 so far this year,” says Abby Kuzma who heads the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office.  She says computer technology makes it cheap and easy for scammers to blanket areas with fake calls.  “Right now the technology is such with Voice Internet Protocal, you can call from anywhere in the world and make it look like you’re calling from some place local,” says Kuzma.

Kuzma says don’ let a local number fool you. If you get a similar call, what you should do is simple and straightforward.  “Hang up, call your bank using the number on the back of your card or any other information you have that you know is a correct phone number for your bank and then ask them,” says Kuzma.

Kuzma says the calls are impossible to trace.  So taking legal action, or getting your money back from scammers is unlikely.  But she reminds you, that almost any robocall in Indiana is illegal.  So the minute you hear a recording asking for your personal information it’s almost certainly a fake.
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