Text Message Scams
Scammers are sending text messages with phony fraud alerts (debit card fraud alerts also) stating there has been a request to withdraw or transfer a large amount of money from your bank account. These texts may appear legitimate and contain Peoples Savings and Loan Company or another banks information.
- The Bait: Recipients receive a fraudulent text and are prompted to either call a phone number or reply “YES” or “NO” to the text message to approve or deny a transaction. If the recipient calls the number or replies to the text, they will be put into contact with the scammer posing as a bank representative.
- The Scam: The scammer will claim the transfer went through and to cancel the transfer, you have to transfer the money back yourself through a money transfer app to reverse the transaction.
- Consequences: Instead of sending the funds to your own account, as the scammer claims, you are ultimately transferring the funds to the scammer. Once you transfer the funds, the money is lost and is very difficult to retrieve.
Spot the Scam
Individuals should stay alert and learn how to spot a bank text scam:
- Your bank will never call and ask you for confidential information or your account number.
- Never call a number texted or emailed to you unexpectedly. Always call your banks number directly.
- You should never provide confidential account information to unidentified individuals or to unsolicited callers.
Scammers will attempt to convince individuals to provide their personal information, birth dates, PINs, Social Security and any other sensitive information over the phone.
- Banks will never use money transfer service to stop fraud.
This should be an immediate red flag. Banks will never call and ask you to stop a fraud by using money transfer or bank transfer services. If you get a call like this, hang up immediately.
- Scammers can spoof legitimate phone numbers.
Scammers can replicate legitimate phone numbers and impersonate a business, which can fool victims into falling for the scam. Your caller ID may even display the business name. If you receive a call, hang up and call the bank directly using the number on your debit card or bank statement.
- Scammers will use aggressive and urgent language.
Scammers will prey on your fears and claim you must transfer the funds before it’s “too late.” They will use aggressive language to scare you into acting quickly. Be sure to remain calm, ask questions and never be rushed into anything. If you receive a call like this, hang up and call your bank directly.
If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, be sure to file a police report and submit it to your bank as part of the investigation.
To go back to our security news page click here. To find out more about scams go to the FTC site here.