Grand County sheriff warns bank consumers to be aware of ‘vishing’ scam
Toward the end of October, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office communications center began receiving reports of a known Wells Fargo Vishing Scam.
“Vishing” is defined as a more technological form of “phishing” and includes the use of illegal and deceptive voice calls to obtain personal information that criminals need to commit identity theft.
The recent calls to Grand County area cell and home phones are part of the nationwide scam known as the “Wells Fargo Phishing Scam” or “Wells Fargo Vishing Scam.”
The scam has been reported throughout the United States and includes using an automated computer dialer to contact phones in a particular region or area code.
The automated computer dialing system, known as an “auto-dialer,” initiates the recorded message upon answering of the phone or through text messages. A variety of messages are then used to obtain your personal information.
The messages usually include some form of a recorded statement that may include the phrase “Your Wells Fargo account has been compromised.” The recordings usually include statements that “your account has been deactivated” or “suspicious activity had been found on your account. Please enter your credit card number, followed by the PIN code, to re-activate your card.”
The recording may prompt you to press a number to speak with a representative where you are asked to provide personal information.
Other variations have you enter the personal information in your phone dial pad or by voice.
Regardless of the details of the phone call, the end result is a criminal obtaining information to steal your identity and empty your bank account, open new accounts, or charge on your accounts.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office recommends that citizens be diligent in protecting their personal information and not share any confidential information through suspicious emails, websites, social media websites, text messages, or phone calls. If you suspect your account has been compromised, contact the company or financial institution directly. Victims of identity theft should contact their local law enforcement agency to file a report.
Additionally, identity theft victims are recommended to file a report with all credit reporting agencies, notify all their financial institutions, and file an online report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The F.B.I. issued a warning last year about “Smishing or Vishing,” which can be viewed online at http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/november/cyber_112410.
Wells Fargo provides safety tips on their website at http://www.wellsfargo.com/privacy_security/fraud/operate/emails.
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