A New Wave Of Scams You Should Know About

March 9, 2007 - Posted at 5:56 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-Many in Region 8 have recently said hello to disaster.

"Like all scams they have a good story. Sometimes its as simple as, it has to do with your utility bill, your credit card, your gas bill. Something that hits a lot of people," said Joe Williams, President of BancorpSouth.

He says phone scams are a growing problem.

"We've had at least two dozen instances, primarily elderly, that have been victimized by telephone scams sweeping across Northeast Arkansas," said Williams.

The most recent of those hit customers of city water and light.

Someone going by the names "Ashley" or "Amber" was making calls to CWL customers.

"Making claims that they've not paid their City Water Light bill. We're going to come and cut them off is they don't pay their bill. They are trying to seek personal information from the customer," said Ron Hannah of CWL.

City Water and Light says that personal information should stay that way.

"We have everything that we already need in the system. So we would not try to ask them that to gain any information that might somehow harm the customer," said Hannah.

Meanwhile, bankers say once account information has been revealed, that scam artists can access your account in as little as a few minutes.

"It's scary how quickly they move. Sometimes the information is given one day. We are seeing transactions hit their account the next day," said Williams.

Both BancorpSouth and City Water and Light say it's all about using your better judgment.

"Fortunately for us, all of our customers have been wise enough to state to them, no I'm not giving you any personal information, or they've hung up on them and then called our customer service department to verify," said Hannah.

When it comes to phone scams that just what you're encouraged to do...hang up!

It is also advised if you recieve a call from someone stating they are from a business to call the business back and make sure the person you were talking with is with the company.

*Check below for a list of consumer groups that can help protect you against scams of this sort.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.