Some Brattleboro Savings & Loan customers had funds stolen from their accounts this weekend in what bank officials say was part of a regional or possibly national phishing scam.
Bank president Dan Yates says a text message went out Saturday morning to cell phones in the Brattleboro area held by account holders, as well as people who were not customers.
"It wasn't like these fraudsters had any key with Brattleboro Savings," Yates says. "The voice on the other end said, 'Your debit card has been frozen. To reactivate press '1.' And then it would ask you to enter in your debit card number, expiration date and your PIN. So it's conceivable that somebody with a debit card in another bank might have fallen for it as well."
Anyone with a cell phone with the exchanges 380, 490, 579, and possibly others, received the text message claiming to be an alert from Brattleboro Savings & Loan.
About 20 customers fell for the scam, though Yates says all of the money will be returned to the customers.
The information was used to create fake debit cards, which were then used at a Citibank ATM in New York to steal money from the original accounts.
Yates says calls began pouring in to the bank late Saturday morning and word went out across social media.
The bank's incident response plan was activated, preventing even more loss, according to Yates.
He says the bank is working with federal officials, and anyone who noticed suspicious activity should contact local or state police.
Correction 11:30 a.m. 10/18/2016 The headline and opening sentence were updated to more accurately reflect what happened to the bank accounts.