Most text messages from companies could be classified as junk mail, and like junk mail they’re beginning to hold spam. The newest trend in debit scamming is through text messages. Scammers are using text messages to tap into unsuspecting consumers bank accounts and drain them of their resources.
While there are a variety of text message scams, a few are becoming increasingly popular. According to reports, scam victims received texts that informed them that their bank account was frozen or that they have won cash prizes. The text then asks them to call a toll-free number to provide their debit card account number and PIN number. The automated system is a fake, and is designed to get consumers personal bank account information.
According to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB), text messages claiming to “Win cash now!” and “Short on cash? Reply here!” are obvious scams. These text messages come with links that spread viruses throughout consumers’ phones. “Don’t take the bait. Scammers are preying on victims’ fears and greed,” the BBB said in a press release.
“These hackers are looking for you to respond with vital information that can ultimately lead to identity theft,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau, (a Credit Land Rep.). “Hackers want you to wire them money before receiving your ‘prize,’” she said “That is one of the biggest red flags of a scam.”
In DeWitt County, Texas, Sheriff Jered Shofner has warned residents of a telephone scam that has already affected several homes. It involves a call from a personal number where an automated voice is disguised to sound like they’re calling from a financial institution.
A pre-recorded message informs the call there is an issue with their debit card, then requests the caller to enter his or her debit card number for verification purposes. The thief then has access to the private debit card information and all the money in the bank account.
“Providing the numbers can lead to an empty bank account. Never give out your personal information unless you know exactly who you are dealing with, and they have a legitimate need for the information,” Shofner said in a written release.