Oneida Middleton was outside when her husband answered the phone at 3:05 p.m. Thursday. When he came to the door and told her the phone was for her, he let her know this wasn’t a welcome call.
“He said, ‘Be careful what you say,’” the Desloge woman related. “I knew then, it must be pretty bad.”
The man on the other line did not identify himself.
“Hi, Mrs. Middleton, how are you today?” he asked.
She replied that she was fine.
“Then he said, ‘I’m from the bank and I’m changing your checking account,’” she related. “He said, ‘I have your Social Security number. I don’t need that, but I need your routing number.’”
Middleton asked the man what bank he was calling from. His response startled her.
“He said, ‘Well you stupid lady, you! Get that checkbook out and look at the left hand side. You read that routing number to me!’” she related. “I told him ‘I’m not telling you anything. You’re nothing but a scam artist!”
The man said nothing, and Middleton hung up. Her husband said the man had asked him for the routing number as well. He replied that his wife handled that, then brought the phone to Middleton.
Middleton called the bank and was reminded that the bank already has the routing number and would never call and ask for it. The police gave Middleton a form to fill out to report the call.
Middleton knew that if the man had gotten her routing number, he would have been able to transfer money from the bank.
“I just want to let people know. You know what, they might really believe they’re changing that bank account and give them the number,” she explained. “I want to tell them, ‘Be careful, ‘cuz they’re out to get you.’”
Thanks go to Middleton for sharing her story to help others avoid becoming victims.
The Daily Journal has made a commitment to keep readers abreast of scams that hit our area. If someone tries to make you the victim of a scam, call us at 431-2010 and tell us what happened. We will include your story in our scam alert series to prepare others who may find themselves in the same situation. The Daily Journal will run Scam Alert stories in the paper every Saturday.