UPDATE: New Text Message Scam Poses as Wachovia, Claims to Know First Four Digits of Consumers’ Bank Cards

January 28, 2010
Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers of a new text message scam that impersonates the bank, Wachovia, in order to gain access to consumers’ bank accounts.

Consumers across the country tell BBB they’re receiving this text message: “Wachovia alert - your card starting with 4828 has been deactivated please contact us at 804-715-9368 to reactivate your card.”

While similar text-message scams unfortunately have become prevalent in Southern Arizona in recent months, this particular scam seeks to gain consumers trust by claiming to know the first four digits of the consumer’s bank card, when in fact all Wachovia bank cards start with “4828,” consumers tell BBB.

In November BBB warned of similar text message and email scams that posed as Credit Union West, a Phoenix-based credit union, and Bank of America, respectively. In the case of all three scams, if consumers called the number in the text or email they would presumably be asked for personal banking information, which would later be used to steal money from their account.

BBB and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office offer these tips to help consumers stay clear of text message and phishing scams:

•    Beware of text messages or phone calls that request personal information. If you do not know who is making the request, delete the message or hang up.
•    Never give out personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, to anyone you do not know.
•    Banks will never ask for personal account information by text message or email.
•    If you receive a call asking for personal information, hang up and call your financial institution to verify that the request is valid.

For more information, or if you think you may be a victim of a phishing scam visit www.tucson.bbb.org, or call (520)888-5353.

UPDATE: BBB received an email this morning purporting to be from Wachovia that stated:

"You must reactivate your account at Wachovia

Please download the form attached to this email and open it in a web browser.

Once opened, you will be provided with steps to restore your access.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your cooperation.

-Wachovia a Wells Fargo Company"

BBB is strongly urging consumers to not open the attachment in this, or any similar emails. The attachment most likely contains a virus that will infect your computer and could be used to steal your identity. If you receive a similar message mark it as spam, and delete it.