Busey warns of reported phone scam

The following is from Busey:

CHAMPAIGN — Scammers looking to steal information from unsuspecting telephone users have begun contacting residents of central Illinois. Busey has received numerous reports from customers and non-customers of recent attempts to get personal or financial information from consumers using telephones.

According to complaints, people received automated phone calls stating "your debit card needs to be reactivated" or "there is a billing issue with your card." The calls were reported beginning Tuesday and continuing through Wednesday.

"Busey and other financial institutions will never call a customer regarding card activation or requesting personal information," says Heidi Ponder, vice president and fraud officer. "Criminals are relying on technology, such as cell phones, to commit fraud and identity theft. In this case, we believe people are being targeted based on geography. The scammers are using Busey's name to trick area residents into submitting their information."

If you receive an automated phone call claiming to be from Busey, do not respond; simply hang up. If you have given out your personal information over the phone please contact your financial institution. Busey Customer Support is available to answer questions or concerns at (800) 672-8739. For more on vishing and other threats to personal information, visit the information security center on busey.com.

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jdmac44 wrote on October 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Just received one.  More concerned that they have my cell phone number.  :o/

americanproud wrote on October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I got a call last night at 9:16 on my cell, which is unlisted.  I shouldn't have answered, as the caller ID said "unavailable."  My friends know never to call me after 9:00, and I'd see their number if it was a friend.  This is very annoying, to say the least.

jmh910 wrote on October 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Yeah I just got one too. Not a Busey customer and really would like to know where they got my cell # as well.

AerieDweller wrote on November 01, 2012 at 5:11 pm

The scammers probably didn't "get" anyone's cell phone number.  It's an automated dialer with an automated message, so it probably dials every number in sequence.  No answer?  No service to that number?  Just move on to the next number...

With a generic "your credit card has been deactivated," the scammers don't always have to know a specific bank name.  However, since Busey is a fairly large bank in this area, using that name increases the chances of getting someone to fall for the scam.  It's similar to the emails I get saying that I need to "re-activate" my Chase credit card, even though I don't have any credit cards.  Enough people do have Chase, so the odds of getting someone to fall for the trick increase.

The best defense is just to never respond to these kinds of attempts.  Anyone that calls you and asks for information should be considered a scammer.  Legitimate banks and businesses just don't do that.  And while we're on the subject, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is (too good to be true).  Really, no one from Uganda is trying to deposit $12,000,000 in your bank account to hide it from their government.