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Police Investigate Debit Card Fraud

By Lookout Staff

January 13 -- Donít believe what you read and hear, especially when itís coming from a machine.

Thatís the lesson a cell phone user learned recently after responding to a text message warning that there was unusual activity on the userís debit card account, according to police.

When the victim called the number left on the text message for verification, the automated voice message asked the caller to input the account and PIN numbers for the debit card, police said.

ďAt a later date, the victim discovers that an unknown person has made an unauthorized withdrawal from the account,Ē said Lt. Frank Fabrega, a police department spokesman.

The Santa Monica Police Department -- which is conducting the fraud investigation -- encourages anyone receiving this type of text message on a cell phone number or an e-mail not to give confidential banking information, such as a PIN number, to anyone, Fabrega said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8491 or Detective Maury Sumlin at 310-458-8437.

Callers who wish to provide anonymous information may also call the We-Tip national hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463).

Callers with information that leads to an arrest and conviction become eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

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