Alert: Text Scam

posted on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

There have been some rather sophisticated scams floating around, but one making its way now is using a particularly simple method of attempting to get you to give up information. Scammers are using text messaging to try and scare people into calling a number, pretending to be their financial institution.

The message is simply a message to call your bank immediately at a phone number listed within the text. If someone does call, an automated attendant requests a variety of information including social security numbers, account numbers, addresses, etc.

If you receive such a text, don’t call the number in the message. Instead, use a number retrieved separately for your financial institution and confirm that the text is legitimate. Also, if information needs to be updated, go online and modify it in your account. When doing so, use a link you have previously bookmarked or one that you trust. Don’t click on links that might arrive in email messages or texts asking you to click and update something.

Because it isn’t difficult to write a program to send messages automatically from an Android phone, it is expected this scam will get a lot of action. If you suspect you were a victim of this, contact your financial institution immediately. Monitor all payment card information diligently, check your credit report and consider putting an alert or freeze on your credit.

Clicking on links is the easiest way for criminals to download malware on to your phone, device or computer. It is not necessary to approve a software install when being directed to a mal-site. The download and install take place in the background. All devices should be treated like your computer: run antivirus software and don't click on links.