SCAM ALERT: Text message claims your debit card was deactivated

SCAM ALERT: Text message claims your debit card was deactivated

POSTED: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 5:27pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 11:09am

Dozens of people in Baton Rouge-area were almost the victim of a scam that targeted their bank account.

The would-be victims all got a text message from a local number over the weekend. The number is out of service today, but not before several people called the person they thought represented their bank.

In this case, a number, claiming to be from American Gateway Bank, tells the potential victim in a text that their debit card was deactivated. It then instructs the individual to call a number to get the card reactivated.

Many of the potential victims did not bank with American Gateway, so they dismissed the message as a scam. However, not all of them were so lucky.

“Several of the callers we received today actually did do banking with that particular bank and that's what they're concern was,” Jim Stalls, Better Business Bureau, said. “The bank told me some customers did give out their personal information.”

As for the person responsible, they're already on the move.

“It’s very hard to track down the perpetrator of these types of scams,” Stalls noted.

Representatives with American Gateway told NBC33 News that they’re working with customers who gave out their information on the phone.  In a statement, they said;

"Our investigation revealed that the calls are coming from more than one phone number in the Baton Rouge area, none of which are American Gateway Bank phone numbers. We are advising our customers and non-customers that contact us to not reply and to delete the message.

Text message phishing scams are unfortunately on the rise. At American Gateway Bank, we are diligent in educating our customers on the latest identity theft scams with updates to our Consumer Alerts page on our website and with handouts in our lobbies."

If you have any questions call (225) 387-0011.

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