Calls seeking information from banks ‘definitely a scam’

LAKE COUNTY — An area bank is warning its customers against giving out personal information over the phone after reports of a phishing scam surfaced.

Lake-Osceola State Bank has received complaint calls about an apparent scheme where customers receive an automated call from an unknown number stating their lost debit card has been recovered and they should press 1 on their phone’s keypad to get their account back in order.

The schemers must have generated a phone list for the area, said Deborah Smith-Olsen, CEO of Lake-Osceola Bank.

“It is a scam,” Olsen said. “We have received multiple reports from customers and non-customers asking for their debit card information.”

The bank does not call customers over the telephone and request their debit card information, she added.

“These phone calls are definitely a scam,” Olsen said. “It is not our policy to contact you over the phone.”

The bank is working to alert customers about the scam. Banks have fraud protection services for debit cards but these legitimate bank services are very specific about what they ask over the phone, she added.

“Our debit card fraud protection services will not ask you to verify or input your card information over the phone, only whether or not you made a transaction,” Olson said. “For instance, if you are from Michigan and have a transaction on your card in a foreign country or maybe a different state you may get a call to verify that you executed the transaction.”

The fraud services are built to catch transactions that seem out of the ordinary or have a high fraud rating. Lake-Osceola State Bank is working with local law enforcement regarding this fraudulent activity.