Sheriff’’s department warns about credit card fraud - Tucson Local Media: News

Sheriff’’s department warns about credit card fraud

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Posted: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 3:00 am

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to be aware of a scam where suspects are asking for credit card information.

In a press release, Dawn Barkman, of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, said a victim received a text message on his cellular phone that was allegedly from his bank.

The message indicated that the victim’s debit card had been compromised and encouraged the victim to call the phone number provided to get the matter settled.

The text message provided the last four digits of the victim’s debit card, which made the text seem legitimate.

If the victim had called the number provided, he would have been asked to verify his debit card number and the security code on the back of the debit card.

Armed with this information, the scammer can reproduce the credit card and the use money in the victim’s account.

In this case, Barkman said the victim called his financial institution immediately to verify the message instead of giving the full credit card number. At that time, he learned the bank never deals with customers in that fashion.

Barkman said other customers had alerted the bank about the scam.

Regardless of whom they claim to be, people who call, text or email you seeking personal or financial information should be treated as potential thieves who may be trying to steal your identity, Barkman stressed.

Citizens need to be on guard, she added, and always resist alarming or believable scenarios urging them to update, validate or confirm sensitive information.

Barkman said residents should never provide people who call or text any personal information.

The sheriff’s department warns residents to remember, “Identity thieves are crafty, and they may be attempting to contact you numerous times using a different alias.”

According to the Bureau of Justice, there are more than 11 million cases of identity theft in the United States every year. Of those, the most common form of theft is through credit cards.

The total financial costs due to identity theft are more than $17.3 billion every year.

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