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Texting Scam Has Dozens on Alert

A texting scam hits three counties in Northern New York, affecting more than 100 people.
PLATTSBURGH, Ny.- A texting scam in Essex, Franklin and Clinton Counties have more than one hundred people on alert.  Plattsburgh police say they began receiving calls from concerned community member around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.  

"A couple people actually did go through with it, but then they felt like maybe they'd been duped," says Plattsburgh Police Captain Michael Branch.

Police received about 10 calls from individuals about a text message indicating each recipient had a problem with his or her bank account.  Recipients were prompted to call a phone number and give their credit card and social security information.  Investigators also say most people who were targeted had Verizon Wireless.  

"Financial institutions never ask for personal information over the phone, over texting, through email, anything like that," says Adirondack Bank Executive Vice President, Robert Clark.  "There are privacy laws."

Clark says Adirondack Bank had about 20 concerned phone calls from customers.  

"To our knowledge, none of them have given any information to the number that was listed, which is now not active," says Clark.

New York State police confirm some did give out this personal information, though no one has reported money stolen thus far.  Captain Branch also got the phony message, along with the Chief of Police.  

"The phone number looked funny," says Captain Branch.  "All the digits were there, but the area code didn't have the brackets around it and there were no dashes between the first three numbers and the last four."

Police say scammers like these are difficult to catch.

"If they're using a telephone, they can buy these burner phones and once they feel they might get caught, throw them out and get a new one."

When in doubt, the safest thing to do is call your bank directly and alert law enforcement.  To learn more about whether you've been targeted by scammers, click here.         


   

 






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