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Banks warn customers of '499' scam

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By Linda Ireland

 The Better Business Bureau and local banks are warning consumers to beware of the “499” scam.

Local banks are being “inundated with calls from concerned consumers,” according to a BBB release. 

Scammers are attempting to obtain credit and debit card numbers, and pin numbers to access victims’ bank accounts.

The call appears to come from “499” or “705” on your cell phone. The automated message says the person is with the security department of a bank and your card has been deactivated for transactions due to suspicious activity. 

A second call asks you to key in your 16-digit credit card number, expiration date, security code, and your four-digit ATM pin number that is used for transactions. 

Once you do this, you are told that no further action is required, such as contacting your bank, and you can now use your card. 

But, advises BBB, so can the scam artist. 

Two of Lincoln National Bank’s customers received calls last week, said bank president Doc Meredith.

“Apparently one gave the information and the other elected to call the bank first,” said Meredith.

Stefanie Rock, vice president of operations at Magnolia Bank, said some customers received calls from “705.”

“We alerted customers after the first call was received by posting a notice on our Facebook page and website,” said Rock. “We drill into our customers that we do not contact them for account information and they are becoming savvy to these scams.”

Katie McDowell, branch manager of Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, said some of the credit union’s customers also are “reporting other numbers besides 499 on their caller ID’s.”

If you do receive one of these calls, the banks said you should hang up and call the bank immediately.