Weekly Feature

2018-10-11 / Business

New banking scam involves text messages

The Better Business Bureau is cautioning people to watch out for phony text messages that look like alerts from a bank.

According to information released by the bureau, the text messages appear to be about your password or account status, but following the link may share your banking information with scammers.

These scam texts use a variety of messages and techniques, but 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 website may prompt you enter your ATM card number and PIN under the guise of malicious software that gives scammers access to anything on the phone.

The scam texts, known as smishing — a combination of SMS and phishing — are a relatively new way to steal personal information.

Those who receive them should ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.

The bureau is advising individuals to call their bank or check out the bank’s website. If they have been targeted by a scam, they may 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.

For more about scams, go to BBB.org/ScamTips or BBB.org/PhishingScam.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, help others avoid falling victim by reporting what happened on the BBB Scam Tracker.

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