The latest banking scams to hit the U.S.

The latest banking scams to hit the U.S.
The latest banking scams to hit the U.S.

Con artists scamming people out of their money certainly isn't new -- but crooks are constantly coming up with new ways to separate customers from their cash, especially in the banking arena.

Lately, we've noticed some new scams -- and a few tried-and-true methods -- cropping up in cities across the nation. To help you protect yourself and your money from these scams, take a look at the following list of five common bank scams.

Automated voice messages. While we all know not to provide our Social Security or debit card number to a person over the phone who asks for it, I admit I'd have been thrown for a loop if the following had happened to me, since an automated voice mail sounds so, well, official.

In June, in Honesdale, Penn., numerous Wayne Bank customers received a recorded phone call that said, "Your Wayne Bank debit card has been locked." The customer was then instructed to "press one" to reactive their account. Then they were asked to punch in their debit card number.

But it was all a scam. (A similar incident recently happened in Madison, Wis.) Crooks are taking advantage of the climate of fear we live in, a climate that's developed due to the increase in scams. In Brookville, Ohio., for instance, Brookville National Bank customers received automated phone calls warning them of a security breach. Oh, yikes, that sounds bad. So what should the customer do? Naturally, to reactivate their account, they should type in their account information.

It bears repeating: Never give any number, punched in or otherwise, to someone over the phone. If you get one of these automated calls, hang up, call you bank and ask your customer service representative if the calls are legit. Chances are they are not. But find out from your bank.