ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Authorities are warning central Minnesotans about a new phone scam circulating in the area.

The St. Cloud Police Department says they have gotten an increasing number of fraud reports over the last week including a phone scam involving spoof banks.

Police say in this particular scheme, the scammers imitate the phone number of a bank, call customers of that bank, and ask for their account information over the phone, before taking that information and using it to make purchases with the person's money.

Authorities say it is common for scams to pop up at this time of year as people prepare for the holidays. They add that it is always best to be careful when giving out sensitive information including account numbers and logins.

Police say if you get a call that you think is suspicious, you should call your bank directly before giving out your information over the phone.

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