SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has sent out a warning about a new scam wiping out bank accounts. Investigators say scammers are posing as your bank and reaching their victims through text messages.
“I fell right into their trap,” Leigh Ann Carkeet said.
The scammers, posing as your bank, ask if you made a purchase at Walmart.
In Leigh Ann Carkeet’s case, the crooks pretended to be First Horizon Bank.
"Immediately I was panicked, I didn't know what to do," Carkeet said. "So I just text back no because it wasn't my charge. Immediately I got a phone call."
The number appeared to be a real phone number for First Horizon. Carkeet said the person on the line told her in order to get rid of the charge she needed to provide her online banking information, which she did. She also confirmed a number texted to her phone and before she knew it she’d lost $500.
“I never would have thought in a million years I would have been targeted,” Carkeet said. “I’m tech savvy.”
Carkeet isn’t the only victim. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office posted a warning to their Facebook page. They’re investigating multiple cases of this scam targeting people in Shelby County.
“Anybody can be a victim, everyone is targeted,” said Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau
Crawford says scams using text messages are on the rise, and phone numbers are easily faked.
"The reason that crooks are now gravitating to text messages is because nobody trusts caller ID anymore, nobody trusts phone calls, nobody trusts emails," Crawford said.
Crawford says when in doubt, don’t respond. Call your banking institution yourself.
"We're going to have to start training ourselves to remember that text messages can be compromised as well," Crawford said.
"I just don't want anyone else to fall victim to it," Carkeet said.
A representative from First Horizon Bank sent WMC Action News 5 this statement:
"Thank you for your inquiry. We are aware of this situation and have been working with local law enforcement on consumer awareness."