How to spot fraudulent text messages and steps to take to avoid becoming a target of scammers
First things first – Neither Verimore Bank nor any legitimate bank or reputable business will EVER send you an unsolicited link by email or text asking for personal information, account numbers, or passwords. EVER. If you receive such a link, delete it.
These days, people are being targeted for fraudulent emails, texts and calls from scammers pretending to be their bank. This is commonly referred to as a phishing scam and victims could possibly lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
A recent analysis from the Federal Trade Commission shows that the most common form of text scams was bogus bank fraud warnings.
So how does this happen? Read on for how to spot a scam text and steps you can take to prevent from being a target.
How it happens:
- Scammers use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know. They will use this and any additional information such as search history, past addresses, SSN, and other identifiable information about you.
- You will receive a spoofed text saying fraud has occurred and requesting you take immediate action to protect your account(s).
- You could be prompted to validate the “unauthorized activity” and provide further information, such as your card’s CVV number.
- The scammer will then call you with a spoofed toll-free number, pretending to be your financial institution, claiming to be part of its fraud department.
- Once your trust is gained, the cybercriminals will tell you a fraudulent charge has occurred and walk you through steps to reverse it. But in reality, this is an attempt to steal your funds.
- This includes asking you to give sensitive information such as passwords or bank account numbers or asking you to click a link. If you click on a link, this installs malware that gives the fraudster control over your device, even from outside of the country.
What to look for & how to avoid it:
- Tip offs: You don’t have an account with the financial institution; the text or caller is asking for account information, including passwords; grammatical errors or something doesn’t seem right.
- Don’t provide any information to someone who texts or calls out of the blue.
- Keep your device security software up to date and regularly back up data.
- Enable multi-factor authentication – a second step to verify who you are, like a text with a code – for accounts that support it.
- Keep passwords secure and change right away if compromised.
Steps you can take to block unknown callers/senders
- Go to your phone’s settings to update the security settings.
- Block numbers from suspicious calls/messages, according to your phone type.
To Repeat – Neither Verimore Bank nor any legitimate bank or reputable business will EVER send you an unsolicited link by email or text asking for personal information, account numbers, or passwords. EVER. If you receive such a link, delete it.