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January 12, 2013

Local citizen exposes scam

CHICKASHA — When Shirley Keeling answered her telephone yesterday, she would of never guessed how the conversation was about to go.

Telemarketing fraud can come in many different forms. Some scam artists pretend to be from the IRS. Some pretend that you won a large amount of money. Typically their goal is to get you to reveal your personal information and bank account details. In Keeling's case, a scam artist called her phone number, ready to steal more than just a little information.

Keeling, she knew something wasn't right when the caller asked one too many questions.

"The person called and I didn't catch much at first," Keeling said. "I just heard medical at the end of the sentence and they are sending out new Medicare cards."

Keeling, who banks locally with First National Bank, called immediately after the abrupt end to the confusing phone call. The bank assured Keeling it was a scam and warned her that scammers can drain your bank account quickly if they have the right information.

"They asked for my name, address and all that," Keeling explained. "They wanted me to verify the bottom numbers on my check. They listed off the first nine numbers and messed up on a few, then corrected themselves. They asked for more information and I told them, 'I can't give that information out."

After Keeling revealed to the scammer she was not interested in giving any more personal information out over the phone the caller abruptly hung up.

After Keeling called her bank she also called the Chickasha Police Department, but they offered the same advice as the bank, don't give out any personal information over the phone, ever.

"The caller had a real foreign accent," Keeling said. "It had a 409 area code and the name was unknown. The number was 409-574-1214. I just wanted other people to know."

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