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Beware scammers pretending to be Lakes State Bank

Lakes State Bank has put out an alert urging people to beware of a scam being perpetrated through text message.

Would-be victims of the scam have received text messages reading, “Your Visa # XXXX has been temporarily deactivated.” The text then includes instructions to call a particular phone number and enter account information.

Lakes State Bank said in a news release it will not attempt to contact customers through text or email, “Nor would we have you respond by entering your account information. We WILL reach you by phone and/or letter.”

Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Investigator Ian Wilson said these types of scams are common.

“It’s a phishing type scam. They’re looking for people, trying to get info back,” Wilson said.

Phishing is a type of scam where someone acts like a trustworthy business or entity to bait people into providing credit card numbers, bank accounts and other information. The sheriff’s department does investigate cases like this, but Wilson said many of these scams do not originate within the United States. As such, local law enforcement is limited in what it can do.

People can take action to protect themselves from these scams, such as ignoring text messages claiming to be from your bank.

“Your bank is never going to contact you by text message,” Wilson said. “If they are soliciting information from you, I wouldn’t recommend calling.”

These text messages have been sent out with different bank names, including First National Bank. A similar scam was recently done under the guise of a Star Tribune subscription.

Individuals were being called and advised that their Star Tribune subscription payment did not go through and the information needed to be resubmitted over the phone. Charges then started appearing on their credit cards.

Anyone receiving messages regarding personal accounts is urged never to call the number included in the text. Never give credit card information over the phone unless you initiate the call, and always check your credit card statements for any “extra” charges, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department advises.

For more information or to report a scam, you can safely call the official number on the back of your credit card or official bills.

For questions regarding Lakes State Bank, call the customer service department at 218-568-4473.

If you have been the victim of a scam or you suspect a possible scam, contact your local law enforcement.