Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office warns of banking scam

Local News

(WEHT)- The Vanderburgh County Sheriff is warning the public about fake texts posing as Fifth Third Bank. The text tells consumers their account is “locked” and provides a link to a separate website.

The Sheriff’s Office says people who receive the text should ignore it. If you or anyone you know received the text, opened the link, and disclosed any personal information, the Sheriff’s Office says they should contact the bank directly.

Fifth Third says consumers should be cautious opening any links received via texts and that they should never provide personal information over the phone unless they initiated a call to a verified Fifth Third number. The bank has not released any information regarding how many accounts may have been affected.

Fifth Third has a website with information regarding scams, which can be found here.

A misleading message sent to hundreds of people.

“I got two in fact. The first one I just deleted and blocked the number. Then immediately thereafter I got another,” Mark Bush says.

Saying there is an issue with their bank account and click the link and sign in. But an ironic twist some people who got the message aren’t even bank members.

“So we both go them and neither one of us have banking products at fifth third so I knew it was a scam pretty quickly,” Bush explains.

This all while the bank is dealing with another problem. In a letter sent to members saying some of their personal information might have been “misused” by some of the companies former employees, One of them, an Evansville woman who didn’t want to comment but shared the information with us. In a statement on Fifth Third Bank’s website they say:

“Last week we reached out to customers whose personal information was manually accessed by a small number of former employees and may have been shared with people outside of the bank as part of a fraud ring.”

In the same statement they say:
“Any Fifth Third customer who experiences a direct financial loss will be reimbursed, and we are offering free Identity Alert for one year to any individual whose information was potentially accessed.”

But as for the text message being sent– i-t experts have advice.

“Be suspicious. Don’t trust everything that comes to your phone,” Bush explains.

We reached out to Fifth Third for more clarification but we have not heard back.

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 16, 2020)

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