Region 8 sheriff says scam reported in area

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

WYNNE, AR (KAIT) – The Cross County Sheriff's Office Wednesday said a new scam is targeting residents in Wynne and surrounding areas. According to Sheriff J.R. Smith, residents are reporting that callers are asking for personal information. Smith said the scam involves ATM and credit cards that the caller said have been deactivated. Smith said the callers ask for personal information to reactivate the card.

"Calling and telling that your debit card or your Visa or MasterCard and so on have been deactivated and you need to reactivate it over the phone," said Smith. "Do not reactivate it over the phone. Your local banks, if that happens to you, they're going to call you on the phone and have you come by the bank or that financial institution."

Smith said his office posted the scam alert on the Cross County Sheriff's Department's web-site. He said in the last three days, more than 50 residents have reported the possible scam. Smith said the scam aims to open a new credit card in the victim's name.

"They go to town on it and the next thing you know, you've got three, four, five thousand dollars worth of debt and it all stemmed from your activating it over the telephone," said Smith. "They just say it's your bank. They don't specify an institution. They just say your bank or your credit card."

Smith said the main targets are the elderly and people who are in financial trouble.

"We've had several of the citizens call the sheriff's office and say hey, we have somebody calling us and saying our credit cards or bank cards have been deactivated," said Smith. "Some people are responding, but I'm asking you not to. The city police are asking not to do it because it is a scam."

Smith said residents should never give out personal information, especially over the phone. He said if a resident receives such a phone call, tell the caller you'll fix things with your financial institution and hang up. He said it would be wise to call your bank or credit card company immediately.

"It could ruin your credit and it's hard to get it reestablished because a lot of the credit bureaus, it takes forever to get it straightened out," said Smith.

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