BBB Warns of Text Message Scam Resurfacing

  
     
May 15, 2014

Longwood, FL - Better Business Bureau Serving Central Florida warns consumers that a familiar credit card scam conducted through text messaging has resurfaced according to concerned consumers.

In the past, consumers reported receiving suspicious text messages and it seems to have popped up again. Consumers contacting BBB today report receiving a text message from an unknown phone number claiming that their ATM credit card has been put on hold and instructed the consumer to call customer service at (205) 637-2281. A recording then instructs the caller to enter their 16-digit ATM credit card number, expiration date, CVV code (card security code) and PIN. Inquiries into the phone number find other consumers who report similar experiences and suspicions. BBB called this number and received a busy signal.

“If you receive an email or text message from an unknown source or if you are just not sure, it’s always best to call your bank or credit card company directly," said Judy Pepper, President of Better Business Bureau Serving Central Florida.

BBB advises all consumers receiving unfamiliar text messages requesting personal information (aka "Smishing”) to disregard the warning and call your credit card company or bank directly.  Other variations involve messages purportedly sent by major retailers claiming the recipient has won a prize and asking for personal information in response.

Tips for avoiding mobile phone scams:

  • Don’t respond to text messages or automated voice messages from unknown or blocked numbers on your mobile phone.
  • Don’t respond to unsolicited emails, texts or phone calls requesting personal, bank or credit card information.
  • Treat your mobile phone like you would your computer—never open links, install apps or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails or texts; and do not open any links that appear suspicious.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit BBB.org.

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BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports®, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is a difference in viewpoints. For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2013, people turned to BBB more than 132 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.5 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.   The Better Business Bureau Serving Central Florida is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America that provide business reviews on companies within its 11 county service area.  These counties include: Brevard, Citrus, Lake, Levy, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia.