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Scam targets BancorpSouth customers

BancorpSouth cardholders throughout the State are subject to identity theft and scams.
Phillip Waller / The Daily Mississippian

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood issued a scam warning, urging bankers associated with BancorpSouth to be wary of fraudulent activity. Many Mississippi residents have received a phone call on either their home or cell phone informing them of a supposed problem with their BancorpSouth card, according to the Attorney General’s press release. 

The fraudulent activity has occurred in the Oxford area, as well as throughout the rest of the state, according to the Attorney General’s office.

The caller may be live or automated, but usually leaves a request for the victim to call a number or visit a website and leave their 16-digit card number and other important information that could be used to empty the victim’s bank account or open new credit cards in the victim’s name. Some victims are asked to text their BancorpSouth bank account number to a phone number or to email it to any number of email addresses.

“Legitimate officials do not need to ask you to verify your bank account information,” Hood said. “They already have it. The key point is to never, ever give your personal identification information over the phone to someone whose identity you cannot verify.”

Many Ole Miss students and other people in the Oxford area have been contacted by the fraudulent numbers.

“I received two separate text messages from a number claiming to be BancorpSouth saying that my debit card had been suspended,” journalism junior Courtney Hudspeth said.  

Fortunately, Hudspeth heard about the scam and did not give away any information. Hudspeth called the BancorpSouth Call Center, and they confirmed that her situation was the scam. 

The majority of calls and text messages occurred over the recent holiday weekend, but some potential victims are just now checking their messages and responding to the scam. BancorpSouth officials said they are working to close down websites and phone numbers connected to the scam as they become aware of them.

BancorpSouth officials updated the “phishing” page of the bank’s Website to read: “BancorpSouth will never ask for personal or account information by email or solicit account information by phone. If you receive a suspicious phone call or email, do NOT give out any personal or account information.”

Senior citizens or people with disabilities are particularly prone to falling victim to this scam, so be mindful of vulnerable friends and relatives at this time. 

If you think you, a friend or relative, has fallen victim to this scam, call the Mississippi Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-281-4418. BancorpSouth officials also urge customers to verify with the BancorpSouth Call Center if anyone calls for information by calling 888-797-7711.