A possible phone scam has been hitting Eastern Idaho hard. Our newsroom and Facebook have been bombarded with comments from viewers who have received calls.
So far no one in Idaho Falls has come forward saying the scammers have gotten any of their money, but it is a scary situation, especially for those new to the banking world.
Sixteen-year-old Briawna Meier had just deposited her first paycheck from her first job when the scammers called.
?I got this call from a 2163 number and I didn’t know who it was so I figured I better answer it and I did and they said they were Wells Fargo and my card was locked,? said Meier.
But when it asked for her card information, Meier got lucky.
?I would’ve done it, but I’d left my wallet at a friends house,? said Meirer.
And Meier’s not alone.
Idaho Falls police dispatch has received dozens of calls about the scam and our Facebook page is covered with furious comments.
We tried calling some of the numbers, but it was a dead end.
According to Wells Fargo District Manager Kathy Kelley these suspicious calls have customers going in with questions.
?At that point we tell customers that if they receive a fishing call, to never give security information over the phone and to call their bank,? said Kelley.
Banks may call you if something is wrong with your account, but ?In these calls they would never ask for security information,? said Kelley.
It was a scary wake-up call for Briawna and her mom, ChristineYarbrough, and an important lesson.
?To sit my daughter down to education, if you’re going to get a teen checking account, talk to them about the dos and don’ts,? said Yarbrough.
?I got so lucky. I just got my first paycheck and that would’ve just been gone,? said Meier. ?That was scary.?
As far as investigating these calls goes, it’s a very difficult situation. Idaho falls police don’t investigate unless someone has been scammed. If they do, these numbers are often traced back to multiple states and sometimes multiple countries.
The best thing you can do at this point is stay informed. If you do receive one of these calls, we cannot stress enough not to give away not to give away any personal information.
And talk to your teens about being aware of these scams.