Incidence of phone scam picking up

Published 10/31 2013 01:37PM

Updated 10/31 2013 01:58PM

URBANA-CHAMPAIGN -- A phone scam is picking up steam in the area. If you got a call from Busey Bank Thursday night, you're not alone. It's from people who want your money. It was reported a few weeks ago, but there was a resurgence Thursday night. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has more.

Hundreds posted on Facebook they got calls, some in the middle of the night. The FBI says it's very possible Champaign-Urbana is being targeted for a specific reason.

"It's a computer-automated system. Most people are familiar with robocalls from political campaigns."

But, this time, it's not a politician on the other end. It's a message telling you there's something wrong with your debit card and your personal information is needed. FBI spokesperson, Brad Ware, says that should be warning enough.

"The banks already have all the information they need on you. Your password, the PIN, that is your personal information and you shouldn't share that with anyone."

Hundreds of people in Central Illinois have been getting the calls, at home, on their cells, and even in their hospital rooms. Ware says there was a resurgence because the media caught wind of it and scammers are trying to get as much money as they can before it's shut down.

The number was disconnected, but in case you get the call: "Number one, hang up. Number two, if they get to the point where they ask you to press one or one of the numeric keys to continue, don't press the number because that's what's going to activate the computer system that's going to record the information."

Ware says scammers target areas with universities because a lot of college kids rely on their debit card and might not catch onto a scam as quickly. But, no matter your age, be aware.

"You just have to use common sense. If it's something that catches you off guard, you really need to think about what you're doing."

Busey says it's been working closely with law enforcement to stop the scam. In the meantime they say, no matter what the circumstance, people should never give out pin numbers over the phone.

Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.