Police say phone scam targeting debit card information

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – Police in Paragould are warning residents to watch out for calls claiming their debit card is "locked."

According to a news release from the police department, employees from Focus Bank contacted them about the calls Friday.

The automated call tells the MasterCard holder their card has been "locked." It then asks the cardholder to press "1" and enter the debit card number.

The number may feature a "573" area code from Missouri, but police say there is no guarantee that it is legitimate.

Cpl. Jack Hailey with Paragould police said this phone scam is unlike any of the others they've investigated before. That's because instead of listening to another person on the line, people heard a machine.

"The different thing about it was that it was automated," Hailey said about the scammers' calls, "so it did have a lot of validity to the call because it wasn't someone on the other end of the line talking."

If anyone receives this call, they should hang up. If they think they may be a victim of this call, contact the bank immediately. The number to call is 1-800-464-3150.

"If someone has taken the steps that they were directed to take, I say immediately contact your bank [and] let them know this happened," Hailey said. "A lot of times, people are maybe embarrassed. It happens. [Scammers] are getting so good at making it sound legitimate that it does happen. The longer you wait, the more damage that's done."

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