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Phone scam strikes again!

A telephone scam that has been disturbing area residents hit a new high Saturday, judging by the number of calls reported to the Joint Dispatch Center.

"Dispatch just got inundated with dozens and dozens of calls," Manitowoc Police Lt. Jim Schweigl said.

Dispatchers estimated they had received at least 100 calls Saturday from concerned citizens who had answered automated telephone calls from organizations identified as Bank of America and Bank First National.

"It felt like a million," Dispatcher Jodi Arseneau said.

The automated message tells people their bank card has been canceled due to suspicious activity and asks them to call an 800 number, Arseneau said.

"Nobody that I talked to yesterday gave the information, but I believe they are asking for the bank account number and that kind of thing," she said. "Nobody is actually talking to a human being."

The automated calls also were received at Crime Stoppers, the Manitowoc Police Department and the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department.

Victims of the scam should hang up the phone immediately, Arseneau said.

"Even if it's from your bank, just hang up," she said. "If you're concerned about something, you're going to have to call your bank Monday morning. You initiate the phone call."

Arseneau said the banks are "trying to get to the bottom of it," working to find the root of the scam and resolve the issue.

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