SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - The Sikeston Department of Public Safety says several area businesses are warning of a recent phishing scam.
According to DPS, "phishing" is a term used to describe people trying to get sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, account numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, pin numbers and other sensitive debit or card details.
They say someone will pretend to be part of a bank or, in this case, a fictitious utility company. They then try to get personal or financial information over the phone or through a computer or smartphone. They then use the information to steal money from your account or steal your identity.
Two area businesses became aware of the recent scam when they received a call from someone saying their account was delinquent and asked for payment. The businesses told officers they knew their accounts were not delinquent and called to report it.
Sikeston DPS is reminding people to not release any personal, credit card or banking information without verifying the person on the other end of the line. If you are uncertain, they say to hang up and call the company yourself.
If you did give the information out over the phone, you need to call your bank or financial institution immediately. They can work with you to change your account information. If you are a victim of fraud, you need to report it to your bank and then contact your local law enforcement.
Police say it is not necessary to contact them unless you are a victim of fraud.