Bank scam continues to target Amarillo residents

Bank scam continues to target Amarillo residents

AMARILLO- A text messaging scam is spreading across the Panhandle and it's putting people out of thousands of dollars.

It starts with a text message saying your bank card has been deactivated.

"Basically what they want you to do is enter your credit card or account information as soon as you get a dial tone on the other end of the line," said Corporal Sean Slover with the Amarillo Police Department.

The text message instructs you to call an 806 area code number to reactivate your card.

"Banks don't operate that way," Slover said. "They'll contact you via letter or ask you to come into their bank."

Happy State Bank and Amarillo National Bank have fielded hundreds of calls from people across the Panhandle within the last three days.

We're told roughly a fourth of callers handed over their card information.

Amarillo National Bank fraud investigator Jerry Ivy says they are now having to go through the painful process of tracking down fraudulent purchases.

"All the transactions have happened in California," Ivy said. "They're going into WalMart's and purchasing items."

The caller may be using a prepaid phone which makes it difficult to trace. It was later discovered AT&T had been providing service to the phone.

"We contacted AT&T and they refused to shut the phone off because it wasn't our phone," he said. "They said they need a police subpoena and then they may shut it off."

We called AT&T's fraud department for answers but nobody would give us any information without speaking with their media relations department.

When we tried calling the fraudulent number back again this evening, the line was disconnected.

Police say this isn't the end of scams like this one.

Anyone who receives a text requesting card numbers should ignore the message.

If you have already handed over any personal information and fear your account could be compromised, contact your local bank or visit them in person.