MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A sophisticated scam targeting bank customers has a Twin Cities man sending a warning to others.
It started with a phone call from a number he recognized. But, as WCCO-TV found, it ended with a checking account drained by thousands of dollars.
As an attorney, Peter Glessing takes pride in his skepticism.
“If I can become a victim, anyone can become a victim,” Glessing said.
He only wishes he had asked more questions when his phone rang a few weeks ago.
“I got a call from U.S. Bank with a number associated with U.S. Bank saying that someone had used my card in San Diego at a Wal-Mart,” he said.
Glessing told what he thought was the fraud department that it wasn’t him.
“He said, ‘Alright, we will cancel your card, we will send you a new one,’” Glessing said
To verify, codes started coming to Glessing’s cellphone, on the very same number U.S. Bank had texted him from before.
“It’s the exact same text thread,” he said.
Then, the caller asked for his answers to some simple security questions, like his mother’s maiden name and old mascot.
“As this conversation goes on, I log into my U.S. Bank account and I say, ‘You know, I’m not seeing this charge out of California.’ And he said, ‘Oh no, we hid it, we got it right before it hit the system,’” Glessing said.
Turns out, with Glessing’s replies, within minutes, a scammer transferred $5,000 from his checking account to someone overseas. Alerts stating so showed up as it happened, in his email.
A U.S. Bank representative told WCCO-TV it can’t comment on specific account holders, but cautions customers how to spot fraud. Banks won’t ask for personal information, like passwords or PIN numbers, by phone or text.
So as Glessing now knows, do this if you get a call from the fraud department:
“Hang up and call back the customer service line, the consumer fraud line and go that route instead of taking the call from them,” he said.
U.S. Bank credited Glessing’s account the $5,000 two weeks later. He also changed his checking account number and two credit cards through the bank.