Is that phone call really from Fifth Third Bank?

Posted at 11:04 AM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-14 21:13:44-05

If that phone rings, and the caller ID says "Fifth Third Bank" be careful. 

Be very careful.

The Cincinnati-based bank warns that a new robo-calling scam is targeting the bank's customers, and even many people who are not customers.

Problem With Your Debit Card?

Nancy Downing is among a number of Fifth Third customers who have received the call in recent days. 

The Loveland, Ohio woman says an automated call told her and her husband "there is a problem with your debit card," and that it was going to be locked from any further use.

The call asked her to punch in her debit card's number to "unlock" it.

Luckily, she was suspicious. The call came to a cell phone, and she was certain the bank did not have her cell phone number. 

So she called Fifth Third, where she learned it was a scam, apparently designed to steal debit card numbers.

Call Requests Personal Information

Stephen Taylor also received the call, found it convincing at first, and began following the instructions. He said by following the prompts in the call "you get automatic requests for your account number and PIN."

At that point he stopped, realizing the bank would never ask you to enter your PIN into a phone call.

He was correct: sharing that information would allow a hacker to instantly access your checking account.

Non Customers Get Call Too

The calls appear to target cell phone customers at random, because several people who are not Fifth Third customers tell us they have received it as well.

The scammers apparently figure that by targeting a wide swath of people, they will catch a few Fifth Third customers.

Similar "phishing" scams have targeted customers of Bank of America, PNC, US Bank, and other large banks in recent months.

The bottom line: your bank will never call you asking you to confirm an account number or debit/ATM card number.

If you get a call like that hang up, and call your bank.  But make sure you call their real number (found on Google), not the number calling you.

That way you don't waste your money.


we are aware of the fraudulent phone based Phishing attempts impacting both customers and non-customers who have no relationship with Fifth Third.  The criminals are ‘spoofing” Caller-ID numbers, which allows them to hide the actual number the call is originating from and display any number on the consumer’s Caller-ID. 

In many cases the message claims there is a block on a credit or debit card and requests the consumer to enter their card number and other confidential information. The account numbers and PIN entered in will likely be used for fraudulent purposes.

Fifth Third employs multiple techniques and technologies to reduce risk for our customers. We also urge consumers to be very careful of calls like this. If they receive a call that is suspicious, they should hang up and call their bank directly. We would like to remind our customers the Bank will never initiate a phone call requesting confidential information.


Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.

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