Stephens Co. Sheriff Warns Of Text Message Scam

The Stephens County Sheriff’s Office wants area residents to be on the lookout for an ongoing scam.

According to Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley, his office has received some reports on such a scam within the last couple of days.

Shirley said the scam has been coming to residents in the form of a telephone text message.

“A couple of days ago, we first began getting reports from citizens in the community about a text messaging scam stating that their credit union or their bank account had been compromised,” said Shirley.  “It gave them instructions to contact a specific telephone number listed on their text message.  Once the victim called the number back, it asked them to enter their debit or credit card number and as soon as they did that, the phone disconnected.”

Shirley said that several people have fallen victim to this over the last few days, giving out their credit or debit card number.

The sheriff said this is a common “phishing” scam designed to obtain personal information.

In a “phishing” scam, the perpetrator does not have someone’s personal information, but sends out calls, text messages, e-mails, or other forms of communication in order to try and get it.

He urged anyone who gets a text message of this nature to delete it off of their phone immediately.

“If you get any of these text message, please do not call any of these phone numbers,” said Shirley.  “This is not the way that banks or financial institutions do their business.  This is widespread all across the United   States.  We just ask our citizens in the community to be cautious and always safeguard their personal information and do not give it out to anybody.”

Shirley said that if someone has already responded to one of these messages and entered their credit or debit card number, they should contact their financial institution immediately to deactivate that card and then call the Sheriff’s Office in order to file an incident report.