Posted at: 10/24/2012 5:33 PM
| Updated at: 10/24/2012 7:40 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
_TROY - When Margaret Orlep got a text message Tuesday, saying her Berkshire Bank credit card had been blocked, she felt something was fishy.
"My first thought was because I don't have business at Berkshire Bank, that somebody had fraudulently opened a credit card under my name," Orlep said.
She called the number listed on the text message with an Atlanta, Georgia area code, and said she got another red flag: an automated message telling her to punch in the last four digits of her social security number. Alarmed, Margaret called Berkshire Bank directly.
"I called their Albany Office, told them about the text message I received on my cell phone and was told it was a scam," she said.
According to Jim Gile, Vice President of wsg, a Saratoga Springs web development and I.T. firm, it's the kind of spoofing scam popping up on cell phones that consumers need to beware.
"Spoofing means that they posed as their number. So that text that the woman got came from their phone number. I could send you an email from President Obama and it can say it came from that address. That's called spoofing," Giles said, adding that giving out personal information to the sender can lead to identity theft.
When Margaret and a NewsChannel 13 reporter called that number in the text message again, we were surprised to get a new message, from a company identifying itself as EthoTech.
"Recently EthoTech's phone number has been spoofed by a robo message that is leaving a message or sending a text about your credit or debit card...." the announcement says.
The announcer also says they've filed an FCC Complaint, encouraging consumers to complain as well.
"That's encouraging. Maybe the FCC people can track these people down and bring them to justice before they do more damage," Orlep said.
Berkshire Bank has put out a fraud alert on its website. A spokeswoman told NewsChannel13:
"This is not something specific to Berkshire Bank, but the bank’s name is being used. It appears to be someone or some people calling random numbers indicating they are looking for information about their account. We have alerted our customers and the public in general to never provide this type of information over the phone as we would never ask for it."