Tifton Gazette

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January 9, 2014

Texting scam making the rounds in the area


Telephone and e-mail scams are well known and widespread, but there’s a new texting scam that’s targeting cell phone users.

Some locals have also become targets of this scam. A 70-year-old Tifton woman reported to the Tifton Police Department that she received a text message Monday night from a Visa credit/debit card company claiming her account was blocked or locked due to fraud. She said she received the text from phone number 770-809-1134 with instructions to text or call the number and provide her card number.

She said when the number is called, a request is made for personal information via a voice message with no options or a customer service representative.

The woman called her bank and checked on her Visa card account, which was still active. She said the text message was a scam to obtain her account information and card number to commit fraud. She called Verizon, because she only uses her Visa card to make her phone service payments. Verizon said they didn’t call and noted they wouldn’t request her information via text. The woman said the company advised her to report the incident to law enforcement.

Other media outlets have also warned people of this same type of scam. WFXL Fox 31 in Albany recently reported the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office had received telephone calls Tuesday from concerned residents about a texting scam. Also, WSAV-TV News in Savannah reported in December, shortly after Christmas, that Savannah residents reported a texting scam, which hit on Christmas Day. They reported the Effingham Sheriff’s Department said they had almost 100 reports filed the Thursday after Christmas Day.

After The Tifton Gazette posted a question on Facebook Thursday morning asking locals if they had received a text message about their accounts being locked due to credit fraud, more than 45 comments came flooding in with yes responses.

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