New Hampshire residents are being warned about an active phone scam in which bank customers receive calls telling them their credit or debit cards have been compromised and asking for sensitive personal information.
New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and New Hampshire Bankers Association President Christiana Thornton say the messages are fraudulent and are from scammers, not the banks.
The Attorney General and Bankers Association say legitimate organizations do not contact their customers in this manner to obtain or verify personal information, such as account numbers, PINs, passwords, dates of birth or Social Security numbers.
Before providing any personal information over the phone or in response to a text message or email, bank customers should call the bank’s customer service number to find out if there is a problem. Unsolicited calls or emails are suspect and anyone who receives a suspicious call is urged to terminate it as soon as possible.
Sandra Bradley of Manchester said she received a call Wednesday with a recorded message claiming to be from “your credit card company,” without ever identifying the company. She said she immediately knew the call was a scam and didn’t engage the call.
“I hung up,” she said.
Foster noted in the written statement that the scam artists are very creative in avoiding detection and are skilled at hiding their identity. The scams are often operated from outside the country and are very difficult to trace, he said.
Consumers should always exercise extreme caution before providing any personally identifying information to anyone over the phone or on the internet, Foster said. Consumers should only do so when they have particular guarantees of trustworthiness.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has a consumer hotline to answer questions. That number is 1-888-468-4454.
For more information about how to avoid scams or frauds, visit the Department of Justice website at http://doj.nh.gov/consumer.
Valuable information is also available at the FTC website at http://www.ftc.gov, and the website for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at http://www.consumerfinance.gov.