Mid-South storm chaser avoids financial scam - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South storm chaser avoids financial scam

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(WMC-TV) Mid-South Storm Chaser, Nick Hellum, is known for tracking storms to keep the community safe. Now he is worried about some financial storms tracking him down.

Hellums and his wife are dealing with the deactivation of a Regions bank card, that they never had.

A text message came to her cell phone over the holidays.

Hellums said the text message read, "This is a Regions alert. Your card was deactivated. Please call the number provided." Little did the scammers know that the Hellums were not Regions account holders.

So he did what all experts say to do in his situation, research.

Hellums immediately Googled the number listed and discovered it to be the contact for US LEC of Tennessee, a private company organized under local and long distance Telephone Communications.

The company recently received an "F" rating by the Better Business Bureau.

Hellums said the biggest things that caught him off guard was simply the text message itself.

He knew banks communicate account information by mail or in person.

He warns others to be cautious when dealing with these scammers.

"Just be cautious. Giving out your card number could lead to years of frustration," he said.

Mel Campbell, spokesperson for Regions bank provided a list of tips to help combat these phishing scammers:

  • Don't respond to unsolicited emails, text messages or phone calls asking for account or credit card numbers, user names, or passwords, Social Security number, date of birth or to her personal information.
  • Consumers should remember that Regions and other banks won't ask for you to confirm information via email or other electronic means. If you get a suspicious message, DON'T OPEN THE MESSAGE and DON'T OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS.
  • If you have any question about an message sent to you, call your bank to confirm its authenticity-- using only published numbers or the number on the back of your card.
  • Follow your instincts; if it doesn't feel right, don't do it. If you're being contacted in way that you've not asked to be or that you've never been communicated with in the past, be wary. Also, bad grammar, punctuation or other errors sometimes can be a red flag.
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