SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 27, 2013 – Your Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to think twice before divulging any information when you receive a text message from your bank.
A consumer in Georgia received a text message that claimed to be from his bank. The message stated that his bank card needed to be reactivated and he was instructed to call a number with a 916 area code.
When he called the number he was greeted with an automated system that instructed him to enter his account, pin and social security numbers. When asked to enter his credit card verification number he began to grow suspicious of the amount of information he was giving out.
He immediately hung up the phone and called a local branch of his bank to question the legitimacy of the text message.
“The bank said the number was never associated with them”, said the man who continues to receive similar text messages on other phones.
The 916 number is said to come out of the Elk Grove area but scammers often register phone numbers outside of the area they are operating out of. Elk Grove Police have not received any reports on the number.
“Smishing”, a variation of the phishing emails, has gained popularity in recent years as smart phones become. Smishing texts are sent out as a way to gain access to sensitive information via SMS.
In this case, the scammers cast a wide net, sending the same text message to multiple consumers using well-known banks to lure victims in. Those who don’t have any affiliation with the bank simply ignore it but for many others the use of their bank name is enough to legitimize the text message.
Your BBB recommends the following tips to keep your bank information safe while texting:
- Call a trusted number to make sure the information you received is correct.
- Do not click on links in text messages from an unknown sender.
- If you’re a victim of identity theft contact FTC ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT.