50-75,000 in Southwestern Indiana Called with Phone Scam

Published 03/24 2014 06:02PM

Updated 03/24 2014 06:13PM

Indiana State Police estimates at least 50-75,000 people have been called. Although the scammer poses as a German American Bank employee bank officials say the scammer is not affiliated with the bank in any way.
   
Investigators are working to track down whomever is making the random calls, but through technology the scammers have been able to fly under the radar. "They've taken legitimate phone numbers ranging everywhere from Nevada to New York City all the way up including Alaska. They're basically covering over using those legitimate phone numbers making it look like that's the number it's coming from and it's not," says ISP Sgt. Philip Hensley.
   
Several Eyewitness News employees and many of of our viewers have gotten the texts and calls. We've gotten more than a hundred comments on Facebook alone. One person says she was called by an "800" number on Sunday afternoon then was again called later that night from an "unavailable" number. The area codes are traced to a number of states from California to Texas. It's not just German American Bank customers the scammers are targeting either. "Basically they're taking an auto-dial system and systematically calling each cell phone number from 0000 all the way down to 9999," said Sgt. Hensley.
   
Because the auto-dial system is able to conceal where the scammer is calling from it makes it difficult for law enforcement locate the source. "The only way to legitmately try to track down who has done this is by trying to get a hold of a victim, see if a bank transaction has occured, and try to pinpoint through computer IP addresses if we can backtrack along those lines." Sergeant Hensley says German American Bank is in a way also a victim in this scam because while there has not been any kind of security breach the message claims to be coming from the bank.
   
Typically a bank will never ask for personal information like a credit card number or social security number over the phone. If you feel like your account has been hacked law enforcement asks you to call your branch right away.

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