Beware of banking scams

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Brewton woman is urging locals to be aware of phone banking scams after she dodged a $7,000 bullet last week.

Lillie Entrekin said she received a call last Monday from a woman claiming to be a Bank of America representative who claimed there was $350,000 on deposit for her.

“And she sounded so sincere when she was telling about my ‘good luck,’” Entrekin said. “She said I had won a Publisher’s Clearing House contest and they wanted to transfer the winnings to my local bank.

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“I asked if she could just send me a check because I didn’t give out my bank information to just anyone,” Entrekin said. “She said that was against the rules and gave me a number to call back and verify what she had told me. So, I did. The man confirmed everything, so I called the woman back and gave her my information.

“That’s when she said I needed to withdraw $7,000 for an ‘FDIC deposit insurance fee’ and where to send it,” she said. “That rang a bell and I said, ‘What have I done?’”

Luckily, Entrekin realized it was a scam and drove to the bank just in time to save her money.

“I spoke with the bank vice president, who said I needed to close that account and open a new one,” Entrekin said. “And wouldn’t you know it, while I was in the bank, those ‘Bank of America’ people called. Thankfully, the vice president had notified all the tellers to not issue any money.

“I dodged a big bullet – one that could have ruined me,” she said. “I want people to learn from what happened to me.”

Entrekin said the adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is,” was right in this case.