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Scammers are after your money

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January 26, 2007

Albany --  Scam artists have come up with a new scheme to try to empty the bank accounts of people who may already be victims of identity thieves.     

The crooks are using look-alike web pages asking for your banking information.  If you respond, you could be sorry.   

This scam comes on the heels of a security breach at TJX, the parent company of retailers T-J Maxx and Marshall's.     

Carol Slappey, President of Heritage Bank of the South, says her bank decided to go ahead and redistribute check cards and PIN numbers to customers whose account information was compromised.  That way even if their card numbers were stolen, crooks couldn't take them for a ride.      

Slappey says you should NEVER give out any personal information like your bank account or social security number over the phone, fax, or Internet. And bank employees will NEVER call or email you asking for it-- because they already have it on file.

"It's probably a different set of criminals," Slappey said. "They've just seen the media telling the story behind the compromised cards and they're out there now saying well, this presents another opportunity, we'll appear to be protecting our customers."     

Slappey says she knows of at least two people in the Albany area who fell for the scam.      She hopes others will heed the warning.      

If you recently gave your information through one of these phishing scams, you should immediately contact your bank so they can freeze your account and check for any fraudulent activity.


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