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Police warn of text message scam
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By Tere Dunlap


MONROE - Text and voice messages are two of the newest ways to pull off a scam, according to Monroe police.

Police Chief Fred Kelley said the same old scams are now on new technology, but his advice on how to handle them remains the same: "Don't call the number back, and don't give out any personal information."

The Monroe Police Department received a complaint Wednesday about a fraudulent text message asking for bank information.

"The complainant said they and eight of their friends received the same message at the same time," Kelley said.

The text message read: "FR 502 FNBT Alert - Your card starting with (####)* has been placed on hold ..."

The message came from an 800 number and gave the receiver instructions to call the receiver's bank.

The police department received two more calls of the same nature after the initial complaint. Each of the complaints were from Verizon customers.

Residents should be wary of suspicious text messages.

"Your bank would not communicate with you that way (text messages)," Kelley said.

He said anyone who receives a text or voice message concerning a bank account or bank debit card should inform his local bank. Do not call any number provided in the text or voice message. Then, report any fraudulent messages to the phone provider or local law enforcement.

Monroe police officers have alerted other police departments through the police internal message center, Kelley said.

"In a troubled economy, people are going to find other ways to make money; people turn to crime, particularly fraud," he said.