Beware: Phony Bank Text Messages
The BBB has issued an alert for phony text messages that appear to originate with your bank. Do not be fooled! These are what is known as “phishing” scams, meaning they are attempting to get you to enter your banking and personal details into a “password reset” or “fraud alert” website. Your bank will never send a text message asking you to click on a link or reply with any personal information.
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Some banks may text you fraud alerts that you have previously agreed to, asking you to confirm a transaction, but they will never ask for any additional information. If you have not set up fraud alerts with your bank, contact your branch immediately if you receive one of these texts. Do not reply!
- Ignore instructions to reply to the text. This is one way scammers can determine whether your phone number is valid. Once they have you on a list of “responders” they will know to target you with further scam attempts. They probably do not know whether the number they are texting is valid, since they are casting a wide net to try to find people to target.
- If you think the message is real, call your bank. Do not click on any links in a text message. Banks rarely send you messages in this format. Call your branch to verify that the text message is real before replying.
- Report the text message, don’t just delete it. The FTC has a Complaint Center where you can file information about the scam text. If you archive or do not delete the text, you will remember it is the same sender if they try again.
Like any electronic communication you receive, especially those claiming to be from trusted sources, verify one or two other ways before you think about responding! Be safe out there!