CLIVE, Iowa — Clive Police are searching for a suspect who allegedly took advantage of central Iowans as part of a phishing scam.
Clive Detective Maurio Coleman said they are currently looking for a male suspect who allegedly copied or counterfeited debit cards of central Iowans.
“The individual who was doing this eventually started going and hitting ATMs and then hitting retail places, making purchases and actually withdrawing money,” Coleman said.
Coleman said they believe the suspect was even wearing hospital scrubs as a disguise and had what looked like a hospital ID clipped to his shirt.
“They do that to throw off the individuals at the banks or at the retailers or the convenience stores or the grocery marts where they are actually using these fake cards,” Coleman said.
Coleman said there were 13 people affected by this scam and they were all customers of Bankers Trust.
Bankers Trust said this whole scam starts with criminals purchasing information from the dark web and then they send a text to the person pretending to be their bank asking them to verify a transaction.
“They’ll see this text message come in. ‘Unusual transaction. Is this authorized?’ They respond ‘no it’s not’ or they affirm that ‘yes, it is unauthorized,’ which then triggers the criminal to place the call to them and then when the call comes in, it looks like it’s from the banks,” said Jodi Selby with Bankers Trust.
Bankers Trust said criminals are actually spoofing the phone number to make it look like a customer is on the phone with their bank. It’s in that conversation that they ask for your PIN, something they said a bank wouldn’t ask for.
“We try to really go with what we call out-of-the-box questions or outside-your-wallet questions. When somebody calls in and finds out the balance on their account, we will ask their name, ask them if they know their account number, we’ll ask things that only they would know,” Selby said.
Selby said they should never ask you for your PIN or online account passwords. If they do, do not give it to them, and contact your bank directly or visit a branch in person.
If you receive a text message like that asking you to authorize a charge and then immediately receive a phone call right after from what appears to be your bank, hang up or don’t answer and contact your bank directly. From there you can also contact law enforcement.