Police warn of phony text messages from banks
Monday, January 25, 2010
Police in Salisbury and Wilmington have recently received reports of fraudulent text messages that claim to come from Wachovia or Wells Fargo bank. The text message says that the recipient’s debit or credit card has been limited and gives a phone number to call to reactivate the card. When people call the phone number in the text message, the automated system asks them to enter their entire bank card number.
These text messages are another variation on the phishing
scam. Scammers can use text messages, emails and telephone calls to try to collect your credit card number and steal your identity. To protect yourself from phishing scams:
- Beware of emails, calls or text messages that ask for personal information like your Social Security Number or credit card number. Don’t reply, click on any links or open any attachments.
- Don’t be fooled by real-looking logos or web sites. Many phishing emails use the logo of a real company and a link to what looks like the company's actual web site. Phishing emails may claim to come from major companies, banks, non-profits and government agencies.
- Never share personal financial information with someone you don’t know who calls you, or with anyone by emails or text message. Email and text messages can be vulnerable to hackers. If you need to contact the company or organization, use a telephone number or a web address you know to be valid, such as contact information from a recent bill or account statement.
- Report phishing to the real business or organization. Forward phishing emails to the Federal Trade Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you’ve responded to a phishing scam, protect yourself quickly. Contact your bank or credit card company immediately. You could also be a victim of identity theft. Get ID theft help from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by visiting www.ncdoj.gov or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll free within North Carolina.