Indiana Borough Police Department is warning area residents to be wary of phone calls requesting information, even from known phone numbers — which can be shown on caller ID using third-party software.
On Wednesday, IBPD said, a caller was able to present the phone number of a “bank in the 900 block of Philadelphia Street” as a would-be victim was approached for sensitive information that could have cost that individual $15,000.
Police said the caller pretended to be a bank employee and obtained access to the victim’s checking account, but did not get any money.
The bank was not identified in the IBPD release, but Police Chief Justin Schawl said it is not the first time such a scam has been attempted locally.
A downtown bank posted on its website that it had “become aware of unsolicited calls being made to our valued customers,” and asked customers to review a series of fraud prevention tips:
• The bank will never call and ask for your personal information. Do not share personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person with whom you are speaking.
• Don’t give out valuable personal information in response to unsolicited requests. Bank account information, Social Security number, driver’s license number, debit card PIN and security questions are some of the details that should be kept confidential.
• Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly and asks for your personal information, even if the call appears to be coming from a bank phone number. As the bank noted, “phone number spoofing is a common practice used by scammers.”
• If you received a phone call that seems suspicious and the caller is asking for personal information, hang up and call a trusted bank phone number or the phone number on the back of your debit card.
Those who think they’ve given out personal information that they shouldn’t have are asked to call the bank’s customer care center.
For First Commonwealth Bank, it’s (800) 711-2265 (BANK).
In the case of InFirst Bank, it’s 1 (800) 349-2814.
For S&T Bank, it’s (800) 325-2265.
IBPD said the FBI scam complaint hotline also is available to report suspicious activity, regardless of location, at 1 (855) 324-7257.