Unknown calls during the middle of the night have been waking people across the city and police warn it is all part of a “phishing” scam.
Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin said his department has received numerous calls about this scam which claims to involve Franklin Bank. Police said the scam has involved phone calls at 2a.m. and even branching out to text messages and e-mails.
“The caller is stating that all assets will be frozen if the person does not provide them with the account information,” said Martin.
Police say the scam has surfaced all over the region from Tyler to Beaumont over the past month. The Apache Pow Wow has also received one of these phishing e-mails that asks for Franklin Bank log-on information. However, the link provided in the e-mail message goes to a site other than Franklin Bank.
On the bank’s actual website, the company issued the following statement: “Franklin Bank will never send emails containing attachments, links to websites or marketing surveys, and we will never require customers to authenticate their accounts by sending personal information to us via email, via websites or via automated voice prompt systems.”
The bank has set up a Fraud Hotline at (877) 209-1407 for customers of the bank to call if they feel their account information has been compromised.
Authorities did trace the number through a caller ID to a local number and another number traced to Canada. The local number however now plays a recording from the Federal Trade Commission claiming the line has been disconnected due to a phishing scam.
The recording said “You might have gotten this number in an e-mail text or voice mail message no matter how real it seems that message was a trick.”
The message from the FTC urges those affected to contact their local bank to verify bank information with their statement. The Federal Trade Commission has set up a special website on phishing at http://www.onguardonline.gov