Local News

Scam Seeks Bank Account Numbers From Unsuspecting Victims, Police Say

Posted June 10, 2005

— Investigators say someone using a well-known company name is trying to get into people's bank accounts.

E. Jay Murray said she got a strange phone call this week from someone claiming to be with Wal-Mart. The caller told her that she had won a shopping spree.

"He said, 'What do you think about winning the $500?' and I said, 'What's the catch?" and he hung up on me," Murray said.

Then, the next day, Murray said the man called her back pitching the same offer.

"I knew it was a scam by him calling me twice," she said.

Murray said she hung up and reported both calls to the Wilson Police Department, which said it has been flooded with calls from individuals complaining about a possible scam.

Most of those who called said they were asked to give their bank information when the caller told them he would draft $4.95 for shipping in exchange for $500 in gift cards and merchandise.

"It's a very large concern," said Wilson Police Det. Tim Wiggs. "I understand it's being made all over eastern North Carolina; it's not just Wilson."

A Wal-Mart spokesman confirmed the company is not calling anyone with that offer, but said it is part of a long-running nationwide scam. Anyone who gets the call, the spokesman said, should report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

The Attorney General's office, which believes two people in North Carolina have already lost money in the scam, is also investigating a long list of complaints. The office says that individuals should never give out their personal information to someone they do not know.

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