It’s not unusual for a bank to give customers a call whenever suspicious credit card activity is spotted on their account. But what if that phone call itself is part of another scam?
Josephine Dervan, a retiree living in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, says she received a call on her cell phone a few weeks ago.
“It was an automated call,” Dervan said. “The first thing they said was, ‘your Chase Mastercard debit card has been locked.’”
Dervan, whose debit card is with Chase Bank, immediately became concerned that there might be fraudulent activity on her account. She then listened to the rest of the message.
“If you would like to unlock it press one,” the message said.
Dervan pressed one.
“Your Chase card has been unlocked. To unlock it, put in the card number,” the message said.
That’s when Dervan knew something was wrong.
“I thought, wait a minute, they always tell you to not give your card number unsolicited to anybody who calls,” Dervan said. “So I immediately hung up.”
Dervan then checked her card and realized it was branded with “Visa,” not “Mastercard.” She then called Chase Bank.
“When I spoke to someone she informed me that my account was perfectly good,” Dervan said. “There were no problems and they did not call me.”
The number that called her only read, “7000.” Dervan says the call came through even though she’s on the “Do Not Call” registry.
“It’s very scary because everywhere you go now there is some other scam,” Dervan said. “Someone wants to separate you from your money. If I had given him the information on the phone I probably would have had my account wiped out.”
Officials at Chase Bank say that if you ever receive a call from someone claiming to be your bank or credit card company, tell them you will call them back. They then say you should hang up and call the number on your debit or credit card.
Never give your personal or account information unless you initiate the call and know that you’re dealing with the correct company.