January 18, 2008
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is warning Missourians about a recent wave of attempts to steal bank account information. Nixon has released audio and video public service announcements to get the word out about these scams, which have been reported primarily by consumers in southwest and central Missouri.
Con artists are sending automated phone calls, e-mails and text messages at random in an attempt to get consumers to provide them with their bank account information. These schemes are sometimes referred to as “phishing” or “vishing” scams.
Often the scam message directs consumers to enter their account information on a Web site that appears to be legitimate, but is not. The criminals then use that information to try to make withdrawals from the consumers’ accounts.
Nixon said his office has received several hundred phone calls and e-mails in the last week from consumers who have received text messages asking them to enter their account information at a fraudulent Web site. Attorneys and investigators from Nixon’s office have been working with financial institution officials to shut down these fraudulent Web sites.
Attorney General Nixon reminds consumers that no financial institution will ever try to obtain information from them in this manner. He also says that consumers should never provide sensitive financial or personal information to anyone, unless the consumer initiates the contact.
Consumers should contact their financial institution immediately if they have provided this information in response to one of these solicitations, and also should contact the Attorney General’s Office online or through the Consumer Protection Hotline, 1-800-392-8222.
Watch Attorney General Nixon's PSA about phishing, Windows Media Player format
Watch Attorney General Nixon's PSA about phishing, Apple Quick Time format