Police warn of cell-phone scam

A scam text message purporting to be from Bank of the Cascades popped up on cell phones across the Rogue Valley — including one issued to the head of the Medford Police Department's financial investigation section.

The message sent out Thursday morning asked people to call a number with an area code in California's Central Valley to verify their accounts as part of a "protection program."

Investigators warned people who got the message Thursday to delete it without replying or calling the number it provided.

Bank of the Cascades, which was flooded with calls from concerned customers, reported that it does not conduct business via text messages. The bank's security division believes this scam is coming from outside the United States.

The messages started arriving at around 7 a.m. Thursday, targeting a variety of cell phone users, including police.

"I received one on my department phone," said Detective Sgt. Kevin Walruff, head of Medford police's financial investigation section.

Walruff said in March a flurry of text messages claiming to be from Bank of the Cascades also hit, warning people that their accounts were being closed and asking them to call and provide credit and debit card numbers.

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