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Phone Scammers Targeting Mississippi Residents

By Daniel Cherry | Published 31 May 2012 06:28pm | comments

The attorney general's office and the Public Service Commission warn of a scam asking Mississippians to give up personal information to an automated service. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports.

Residents across Mississippi are reporting bogus calls and text messages claiming to be from their banks. Last weekend, Kristen Wilmoth of Booneville, received a similar call.

"This is BancorpSouth and your debit card has been suspended until we get card verification from you. They asked for the card number, the expiration date, and my pin number."

In a panic, Wilmoth gave out the ended up costing her about 150 dollars. But, Catherine Beard of Eupora didn't fall for the trick.

"I got a text on my cell phone telling me that there was an urgency for me to give them my bank card number. I did not do that, and I hung up."

That's just what consumer protection officers say Mississippians should do if they receive a similar call or text. The scammers have called hundreds of numbers in Mississippi claiming to be from either BancorpSouth or Renasant bank...both based in Tupelo.

Tracking down those responsible for the scamming attacks is extremely difficult. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says the best approach is to educate Mississippians not to trust unsolicited calls.

"Be careful. Anytime you get any kind of a text or email or phone call that creates some kind of an emergency claiming you've got to do this or your account is going to be shut down. 99% of the time it's a scam."

Hood says his office has received more than 200 reports of the scam, and he says at least 7 people have fallen victim to the trick. 




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