Texting scam about frozen account hits thousands on Christmas - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Texting scam about frozen account hits thousands on Christmas Day

Posted: Updated:
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • More evidence mounts in case of missing Gaboon Viper

    More evidence mounts in case of missing Gaboon Viper

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:00:58 GMT
    (WCBD) More evidence has surfaced that lead experts to believe that the Gaboon Viper is still on the loose in Harbor Pointe Apartments. What is now only pieces of the snake's skin was approximately 95% of the shed skin when it was found, only missing part of the head.
    (WCBD) More evidence has surfaced that lead experts to believe that the Gaboon Viper is still on the loose in Harbor Pointe Apartments. What is now only pieces of the snake's skin was approximately 95% of the shed skin when it was found, only missing part of the head.
  • CUE Center and local agencies search for Angie Pipkin in Darlington County

    CUE Center and local agencies search for Angie Pipkin in Darlington County

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:19 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:19:47 GMT
    Members of the CUE center are searching the area of the Cashua Ferry Landing Saturday for clues in the death of Angie Pipkin. Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd tells News13 Darlington County deputies along with Horry County Police, North Charleston authorities and other law enforcement agencies are assisting with the search. Pipkin, an Aynor mother, went missing in January. Randy Gale Robinson from Murrells Inlet,...
    Members of the CUE center are searching the area of the Cashua Ferry Landing Saturday for clues in the death of Angie Pipkin. Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd tells News13 Darlington County deputies along with Horry County Police, North Charleston authorities and other law enforcement agencies are assisting with the search. Pipkin, an Aynor mother, went missing in January. Randy Gale Robinson from Murrells Inlet,...
  • Latta council votes for referendum to weaken mayor after police chief fired

    Latta council votes for referendum to weaken mayor after police chief fired

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:36 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:36:31 GMT
    Earlier this week Latta Mayor Earl Bullard fired the town's Police Chief, Crystal Moore. Latta Town Councilman Jared Taylor told News13 the mayor decided to fire Moore because she received 7 reprimands.
    Earlier this week Latta Mayor Earl Bullard fired the town's Police Chief, Crystal Moore. Latta Town Councilman Jared Taylor told News13 the mayor decided to fire Moore because she received 7 reprimands.
SAVANNAH, GA -

A warning about a text message scam that hit on Christmas Day.  The text tells the victim that their account has been frozen.  But police say it's a con. 

There's no way to know just how wide spread they are, but it seems they went out all over Georgia.  The texts come from a number with a 706 area code.  That covers extreme North Georgia, Athens, Augusta and the Columbus areas.  Even the Effingham Sheriff's Department says they alone have had almost 100 reports filed by Thursday evening, the day after the attacks launched on Christmas Day. 

"I've never seen anything like this, of this magnitude.  Not one that has gone out to as many people as it has.  This has probably affected thousands of people in our area," said David Ehsanipoor, spokesman for the Effingham Sheriff's Department.   

The text message reads: "Achieve Account Frozen" or just "Account Frozen."  And it provides a phone number for you to call. 

"Obviously someone has gotten a hold of your cell phone numbers and they have something set up with an automated system where they're going to try to steal your identity if not the money from your bank account," Ehsanipoor said.   

Effingham Sheriff's Deputies believe they mostly target phones with the carrier "Verizon Wireless". 

"As a matter of fact, lots of our investigators, deputies, and even the sheriff himself, have gotten these text messages and most of them are on Verizon phones," he said.    

The text message gives you a number to call.  And if you do, it takes you to an automated message that asks for your personal account information. 

But authorities caught on, so now all you'll hear is a message saying, "This is a message from the Federal Trade Commission.  The phone number you have just called has been disconnected because it may be involved in a scam." 

"A lot of times it's not a local thing.  We believe it's probably coming from somewhere national or international.  And it goes way above our heads," Ehsanipoor said.   

It's important to remember that if your account has been compromised, banks generally won't text you about it.  So if you receive a text message like this, or you have any other concerns about your account, just contact your bank directly.  

A person contacted WSAV on Facebook and said they responded with a text message to say "Stop".  They wanted to know if that was a mistake.  Scammers can only get you if you call and give them your personal information. 

Zip Code Weather!
Get a local weather report and a 10-day forecast by typing in your zip code!
Powered by WorldNow

101 McDonald Court
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

Telephone: 843.293.1301
Fax: 843.293.1760
Email: news@wbtw.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company