The scam banking calls continue, as a number of Big Bear residents have reported that they have been contacted by their financial institution in order to verify personal banking information, including PIN and credit card numbers. As first reported here last week, First Mountain Bank’s Richard Miller tells KBHR that these computer-automated calls tend to be more prevalent in smaller towns and rural communities. Using a specific, local prefix, such as 866 or 585, Compliance and Information Security Officer Miller explains, “They target more of the community banks versus the big banks. When they hit a smaller area with a smaller number of banks, they have a better chance of reaching customers.” In the case of recent scam phone calls here in Big Bear, residents with land lines have been alerted that banking information on “frozen accounts” is needed by First Mountain Bank. This is not the case, as Miller reiterates that First Mountain Bank, or any bank, will not contact customers to verify personal information that they already have. It is advised that you never release personal information—including banking numbers and PIN codes—over the phone or via email; in doing so, bank customers run the risk of identity theft. Miller adds that these scam artists can quickly create a new, fake credit card using this information and it can be done before the consumer is even aware that there are additional charges on their account. “These calls are continuing,” warns Miller, “so be aware.”

To read our original story, posted April 1, click here: Bank Scam Calls in Big Bear