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Lessons and stories from the front lines of fighting identity theft.


Beware of Text Scams

Oct 14

Beware of Text Scams

If you receive a text message stating your credit card has been deactivated or that there is a problem with your bank account – don’t return the text. Instead, do what this consumer did. He received a text message – from what sounded like his bank – stating there was a problem with his account. He called the number listed in the text and got a message that asked him to key in his account number. This made him suspicious, so he hung up and called his bank. Good thing he did. It was a total scam. There was no problem with his account at all. Someone was simply trying to gain access to his account number via text.

Text scams are becoming more and more popular. According to a July report from Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, text message scams are becoming a “common fraud tactic.” Because more handheld mobile devices offer Internet capabilities and PC-like functionality, more customers are using them to conduct financial transactions while they are mobile, the report says. So, when they receive a text message from their bank alerting them to a problem with their account, they may not question it.

If you receive unsolicited text messages or calls from numbers you do not recognize, report those numbers to your mobile phone provider right away. Be cautious whenever you give your number to someone else and always pay attention to who a text is from before you open it. As a good rule of thumb, when texting keep in mind: Whenever in doubt…ignore and delete.