SOUTH BEND -- The phone rings and the voice on the other end sounds automated.
"This is an official notification from 1st Source Bank informing you that your MasterCard has been deactivated for security reasons," the voice says.
"Please press 1 now."
No, don't, 1st Source Bank officials caution.
Hang up before the voice instructs you to enter your full card number and a pin number.
Otherwise, you may give identity theft scammers all the personal information they need to rob you blind.
"It's a phishing scam to get into someone's bank account," said Melissa Collins, marketing director at 1st Source Bank.
Collins noted that it's the first time a phone scam of this nature has involved 1st Source, because scammers seeking secured info to raid personal bank accounts have traditionally hit larger, nationwide banks.
More recently, however, Collins said fraudsters have moved to smaller, regional and community banks "hoping to trick unsuspecting people into giving up their card information."
The phone scam came to light on Sunday, when 1st Source clients and non-clients throughout the area reported fielding phone calls informing them that their 1st Source MasterCard had been deactivated.
Bank officials found that a robotic calling system focused on the 574 area code was randomly selecting telephone numbers to call.
According to Collins, phone scammers typically blanket an area with calls in the hope that "even 1 percent" provide private, secured information needed to tap into an account.
"We don't know how many have been contacted," Collins said, adding, "Most people know that when somebody calls for personal information that's unsolicited, not to give it up."
"A very small number were affected," Collins said.
Those who may have inadvertently given their card number out over the phone are being advised to contact their bank immediately.
"Stop in," Collins said, "and have your card canceled and a new one will be issued."
The advice is simple to those who answer their phone to an automated voice asking for a credit card and a pin number:
Staff writer Jeff Harrell: