Phone scam targeting bank accounts in Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several people in the Jonesboro area have received suspicious calls and texts about changing banking information. Do not give out your banking information.

"It was a woman's voice and she said that my Liberty Bank debit card had been deactivated," Lisa Davis told Region 8 News. Her first thought was that her card had been stolen.

"It made me look in my purse to see if I had it with me and I did and it said stay on the line and I think it said push something we'll reactivate your card," Davis explained.

She was among hundreds of Region 8 residents to receive that exact phone call. Her next stop, like many others, was to the bank to figure out what was going on.

"By the time I left, the phones were ringing off the hook," Davis said.

"This morning, it was just one right after the other," Executive Vice President of Marketing for Centennial Bank, Ed Way told Region 8 News.

Way said once they figured out scammers were calling customers and non-customers alike as "Liberty Bank," they got on the horn with the Attorney General's office and found out just how far this scam reached.

"We were talking to the Attorney General's office, our Attorney General Dustin McDaniel got a fraud call on his cell phone...and then while I was talking to the media on my landline, I got a scam call on my cell phone!"

Way said the calls could be coming from California or Jamaica.

Way said they do know that none of Centennial's account information was compromised. Since scammers called customers and non-customers alike, they believe they called a random phone bank of numbers seeing who would take the bait.

As for why they used Liberty's name, Way says, strength in numbers.

"I think they targeted Liberty Bank because we're the largest in this market, so I just think they could probably hit more customers by saying they were Liberty Bank."

Way said since they were able to catch the scammers in time, no money was taken from any Centennial banking customers.

"Jonesboro E911 is logging the numbers that have made the calls," E911 Director Jeff Presley said in an email Wednesday evening. So far, the scam numbers are listed as (785)-914-5736---(877)-303-7848, (619)-374-6431, (323) 200-1212 and (410)766-9912.

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