Tampa, Florida - They are two best friends who watch each other's back.
And, they also just happen to be two targets of holiday scams, a fact they find a bit comical since they are both self-described, "suspicious people."
"We get teased a lot for being paranoid," said Margaret Green with a laugh.
But, they had every reason to be suspicious recently when both of them got phone calls just a few days apart.
The two youngwomen, both savvy and smart, knew something wasn't quite right whenthe people on the other end of those phone calls claimed to be from Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union.
The "operator" wanted some personal information from both Margaret and Kelly, claiming that their debit cards hadbeen compromised, that there was suspicious activity.
It was suspicious alright.
That's when they called 10 News.
"He sounded desperate, like he was literally taking my information and filling out a credit card application," said Margaret. "I wouldn't give him anyofthe information that he needed. He was begging me tostay on the phone."
She added, "He also had no phone manners, like a normal telemarketing person would. He didn't know what to say and seemed off."
Kelly experienceda similar tactic, only hers was through a voicemail message."It was weird," she said. "My phone was ringing, and when I looked down, it wasmy own number calling me. I guess they cloned it."
Thewomen were thoroughly "freaked out" and felt violated because of both the invasion of privacy and the way that they were contacted. These scammers seemed to have a lot of information.
In fact, in Margaret's case, the phone number the scammer used was actually the real number from the credit union. She found that out when she called the number back after a message was left on her home phone. When, she askedher credit union later to ask aboutthe origin of the number, sure enough, it wasa legitimate number.Turns out, it too was cloned somehow.
"It scared me because these people are trying to get all your money. In my case, they wouldn't get much, but what about those people who would hand over information and lose their life savings," Margaret told 10 News.
Corporal Bruce Crumpler from theHillsborough County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unitsays this bank phishing scam is very common and sadly, some people fall for it.
"I always tell people that your bank will never call you by phone to get your information. They already have it from when you opened your account. Don't ever give information to someone over the phone who is asking for it," Cpl. Crumpler said.
Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Unionsays this is happening to so many customers that they have formed a task force withthe Tampa Police Departmentand the IRS, which is good news for both Margaret and Kelly- who simply want to warn people this holiday season.
"Don't give out your information. These people could take everything you've got," said Margaret.