April 28, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. -- Attorney General Chris Koster is warning people in the Eureka/High Ridge/Fenton areas of a "smishing" scam designed to steal financial information from consumers. In the scam, customers of Rockwood Bank receive text messages that appear to be from the bank, telling the customers their accounts have been "locked," and that they need to call a toll-free number to reactivate their accounts. The text messages are bogus, and when customers call the number they are asked to supply sensitive banking information.
The Attorney General said his Consumer Hotline has received a large number of calls from consumers in those towns in recent days saying they received the text messages on their cell phones that said they should call 877-775-8804 to reactivate their accounts.
"These thieves will use whatever deceptive methods they can to steal people's financial information for their own gain," Koster said. "Consumers must be very careful to protect their sensitive personal information, such as Social Security numbers, bank information and credit card numbers."
The Attorney General said consumers should only give out sensitive financial information or Social Security numbers when they are the ones initiating the contact. He said any call claiming to be a financial institution or other trusted organization asking for personal information should be seen as a scam. Such scams typically seek to use people's personal data to empty the victim's financial accounts, run up charges on the victim's existing credit cards, or apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits in the victim's name.