A rash of robocalls went out to area residents over the weekend in an attempt to scam MasterCard customers of 1st Source Bank.
“This is a situation where some talented individuals with some pretty big computer systems have, in a 12 hour period, contacted a significant number of customers, primarily it seems in the South Bend Mishawaka area, probably the 574 exchange,” said James Seitz, Executive Vice President with 1st Source Bank.
Seitz said that about 70 percent of the calls went out to cell phones. The calls went to customers and non- customers of 1st Source, although 1st Source was specifically targeted in the scam.
News Center 16 obtained a recorded copy of one call, in which a robotic voice states, “1st Source Bank is informing you that your MasterCard has been de-activated for security reasons. To re-activate your card, please press one now.”
“When you cut through everything they’re asking for people to give up their credit card or debit card numbers,” said Seitz.
Mike True is a Niles resident who received one of the calls. “Well, just received a phone call on my cell phone that the credit card, 1st Source credit card had been cancelled, and I don't have a first source credit card.”
Truth is, True is an employee of Teacher’s Credit Union.
“Both my son and my wife got the phone call,” said Bill Davis of Granger. “Both were on separate Verizon accounts, it was all within about an hour of each other.”
Whoever initiated the scam was either sloppy, or simply wasn’t trying to fool all of the people, all of the time.
Seitz confirmed that, indeed, “some” customers were fooled into giving their account numbers to the bad guys. “Certainly less than 100,” was the estimate early this afternoon. “If this did happen and you did give up your number, certainly call your financial institution right away and what we'll do is certainly close down that account number, and then immediately issue you another debit card.”
Seitz says that one thing that minimized the damage was the fact that 1st Source is a regional bank. When robo-calls started going out, suspicious customers started calling bank officials, calling media outlets, and using social media to sound the warning.