Phony Gateway Bank Text Scam

Attorney General Roy Cooper is warning North Carolinians about a new scam that comes via text message. Cooper says people who receive a text message from Gateway Bank, or any bank, saying their card has been deactivated should not respond.

“Thieves are using these messages to get your information so they can steal your money,” Cooper warned. “If you get one of these phony texts, don’t respond.”

This is what the scam text message reportedly says: GATEWAY BANK ALERT: Your CARD starting with 4138** has been DEACTIVATED.

The text then offers a number to call where people are asked to provide their debit card number, expiration date and PIN. Officials say the scam artists can use that information to make new debit cards. The phone number has varied, sometimes with a 919 area code, which is the Raleigh area.

Debit card holders who have responded to the texts should contact Gateway Bank immediately at 1-800-523-4175 to block their cards. Gateway Bank has branches throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Cary, Wilmington, Plymouth, Kitty Hawk and Elizabeth City.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office was the agency that alerted Cooper's office to the scam.

Officials say you should remember these things if you feel like you may have been contacted by a scam artist:
-Banks do not communicate with customers about problems with their account by text message.
-Never provide your account number and PIN to anyone who contacts you, even if they claim to be with your bank.
-Don’t share your PIN with anyone, period.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous Location: nc on Jun 11, 2011 at 01:11 PM
    I don't bank with Gateway bank so I knew this was a scam. So I decided to look it up and I found this page. The number that it is telling me to call seems to be from Virginia. I hope they find these people because since last night I have already received 4 text messages from them and I cant block them.
  • by anonymous Location: Richmond/Va Bch on Jun 10, 2011 at 07:01 AM
    I received this text message last night despite not banking through Gateway Bank, so it seems that it does test a random pool of numbers. I traced the phone number back to a landline in Richmond, so hopefully they find who's behind this and apprehend them.
  • by Jon Location: Hertford on Jun 9, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    Brenda, it is likely that these scammers have no idea that your number is your number. They simply sent out a huge group text, that was probably generated by a computer program, to a lot of numbers. Some of the number were real and some probably not. They were fishing for folks who would respond. It is only after someone responds that they find out the identity and that the number was real. A good rule to follow is to never respond to a text or phone number that you don't recognize. If it's something important they will leave a voice mail.
  • by Mike Location: Miami on Jun 9, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    I got the same text this morning, I moved here from NC and keep my same phone number. It looks like people in the same area code are getting hit hard. I don't bank with Gateway so there is no way that I would call them back. The number that was sent to me was 804-414-7722
  • by Dark Horse Location: NC on Jun 9, 2011 at 05:57 AM
    "I received one of these text messages, I don't bank with Gateway Bank.... so I knew better than to answer it. Even with my bank, I don't answer the text messages, if I get one I call them. Normally my bank does not use text." Wow, too many grammar errors to count. There, I fixed it.
  • by Brenda Location: Elizabeth City on Jun 9, 2011 at 05:24 AM
    I got this text message as well. I do not bank with Gateway and I know my card number by heart to know this was not correct so I did not respond but was alarmed by the text. I was given a 919 area code to call as well. My question now is this, if Ptank county police helped with this and I live in ptank county how did our number get to these people? I am new to this town and have not had my number very long only a few months so what did they hack to get my number? I am a college student and other than the hospital, kids school, and verizon wireless no one has my number here. I do not even have doctors here. Whats going on people.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 9, 2011 at 07:12 AM in reply to Brenda
      many times the crooks use a random dail method. just pick numbers at random dail them or in this case text them. the same method is used to hack email accouts. i get several of them each day. hope this answers your question.
  • by marine mom Location: washington on Jun 9, 2011 at 04:59 AM
    I recieved one of these text messages, i dont bank with Gateway Bank.... so i new better than to anwser it. even with my bank, i dont answer the text messages, if i get one i call them. normally my bank does not use text.
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