Thousands Receive Bank ‘Phishing’ Call

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SCRANTON -- Security investigators with Peoples Security Bank are warning customers about a new phone scam that started "phishing" for debit card information.

Investigators say thousands of people are receiving these calls and many are in Lackawanna County.

The voice in the automated message claims to be someone with Peoples Security Bank looking to help customers unblock their debit cards, but investigators say these calls are a scam.

Some of those investigators even received the call.

It all starts with a phone call. A new debit card scam that started targeting customers from Peoples Security Bank based in Scranton.

Over the weekend, the phone calls went out to people throughout Lackawanna County, including some police officers.

"It was last night," said Scranton Police Lt. Leonard Namiotka. "I received a call from Peoples Security starting that my debit card pin number was blocked so they wanted to me press a certain key to unlock this and it would take me to their fraud department to help me out with this problem."

Investigators for Peoples Security Bank are looking into the scam. They say many of the scam calls come from a 999 number, but those numbers have not been consistent with each call.

"You don't know if it's local, out of town, out of state, out of country, so often that they get these numbers and they try to prey on an easy victim, especially if they do have an account at a certain establishment," said Lt. Namiotka.

If you get one of these calls, authorities say do not give out any debit card or personal information, instead should report it to the bank or to police.

Investigators looking into the scam say customers should know that the calls are robotic and that's not something they do at Peoples Security Bank.

Blakely Police Chief Guy Salerno says he also received the scam call. His department received word of the problem over the weekend and put a post on the department's Facebook page to help warn people about the scam.

"I think we are up to over 79,000 people. It's been shared and shared again, which to get the word out there, that's the whole key. We have to let people know that this is going on."

Investigators say some people did release their information but most are hanging up and reporting the call.

If you receive this call or if you have given out any information, you're asked to call Peoples Security Bank at 888-868-3858.

1 Comment

  • Jason Washo

    I think the bigger question here, not addressed in this new article, is how was the information about People’s customers or potential customer’s accessed? Was People’s CRM or other forms of customer databases compromised?

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