Pinellas County sheriff's deputies are warning the public to be alert to scammers pretending to be bank representatives in order to steal their debit cards.
Deputies were first alerted to the scam last week. According to detectives, the suspect calls the victim pretending to be from their financial institution and tells the victim they need to exchange their debit card for a new chip card. The caller offers to send a bank representative to the victim's home to resolve the issue.
The suspect shows up to the victim's home and exchanges the debit card along with the card's PIN number with the promise that the victim will receive a new chip card in the mail. The suspect immediately uses the victim's debit card to withdraw money from the victim's account and purchases gift cards from local retail stores.
According to detectives, three citizens of Pinellas County have been targeted by the phone scam within the last week. The suspect who came to the victims' home is described as a black female, approximately 30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build.
Deputies say you should never give personal information or account information over the phone unless you are initiating the phone call. If someone comes to your residence claiming to be from the bank, do not provide them with any personal information or property, such as debit or credit cards.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective J. Holden at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at (727) 582-6200, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or leave a tip at their website.