GALLIPOLIS — In a release issued Thursday afternoon, Ohio Valley Bank warns area residents of two reported telephone scams circulating throughout the area’s communities.
According to information released by OVB, people have reported answering their phones only to receive what is essentially a recorded message urging them to sign up for Medi-Alert or Life Alert.
Those reporting the message say they have received multiple calls of this nature and note that the originating number that shows on their caller ID is masked by the scammers to appear to be Ohio Valley Bank. These calls are not from OVB, nor does Ohio Valley Bank endorse or sell medical alert services.
Reports have also been coming in that some residents are receiving calls from a person identifying himself or herself as a representative from American Electric Power. The scammer tells the resident that their check payments went through the bank, but AEP did not receive the money. The scammer then goes on to say that the resident must pay over the phone or their electric will be shut off.
This kind of intimidation tactic is often used with telephone scams, according to bank officials.
Furthermore, the scammer says the payment must be made with a cash card over the phone. This should be a red flag. Companies typically do not require payments to be made only by a prepaid card.
Ohio Valley Bank further asks the public to be vigilant. Never give your Social Security number or card/account information over the phone. When in doubt, hang up and contact your bank. If you feel you might be a victim of a telephone scam, please report it to the proper authorities and your financial institution.