Scam texts trick consumers into sharing banking info

June 05, 2013

BBB warns consumers to be on the lookout for smishing scams

Grand Rapids, MI – June 5, 2013 – Many consumers have their bank account conveniently at their fingertips. Better Business Bureau warns to watch out for text messages that pose as bank alerts asking you to confirm account information. These scam texts, known as smishing, are a relatively new way to steal personal information. 

The scam may consist of a text message that appears to be an alert from a bank which you may or may not have an account with. The text tells you to verify your account by either following a link or calling a phone number. 

The details of the scam vary. Banks of all sizes,from local businesses to multi-national institutions, have been targeted by scammers using a variety of messages and techniques. 

However, the desired outcome is the same. If you call a number or go to a website, scammers will use the opportunity to obtain your banking information.

For example, the phone number or website may prompt you enter your ATM card number and PIN in order to "reactivate your ATM card." Other times, the link may download malicious software that gives scammers access to anything on the phone.  

BBB has these tips in case you receive a misleading message:

  • Ignore instructions to text "STOP" or "NO." This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number. 

  • Forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM on most keypads). This will alert yourcellphone carrier to block future texts from the number. 
  • Verify the web address. If you think the text is real, be sure the link provided is directing to a web address like"" not "" 

  • Call the bank or checkout their website. See if your bank has been targeted by a scam, they will likely have further information about it. This often includes an email address where you can send a screen shot or details about your scam text to help identify and stop the scammers. 

Learn what your cellphone carrier has to say about stopping spam. Click here for advice froATTVerizonT-Mobile and Sprint