Fraud is rampant, and with the holiday season slowly coming into full swing, it’s only a matter of time before the problem gets worse. The latest scam that you should be aware of are thieves using fraud text messages to get sensitive information. The fraudsters have it set up to make savers believe the messages are coming from the bank, as the matter involves suspicious activity on their current account.
So when they call, they think that they’re speaking directly to an authentic employee of the bank. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case at all. They’re talking to the thief that will have their information, and be able to take all of their money.
It’s a crime that’s been dubbed “vishing”, and it works because the thieves use tech that makes each text appear in messages that are already from the bank. So there’s a high level of trust here, and that’s a bad thing.
But it’s not enough to tell you about the scam — we want to keep you from becoming a victim of it. You need to understand that if you have any problem with the bank, they’re not going to send you a text message about it. If you do happen to get some kind of correspondence from your bank, it’s never a bad idea to go in person to tend to your account. If you’re traveling and don’t have a bank branch in the area, you can look up the corporate number of the bank and call them directly. Make sure that you verify that it is actually the bank, rather than a number that sounds like it. The bank will not ask you to give them sensitive information without reason, and you can simply ask them upfront if they’re sending text messages on the issue.
Banks are becoming more vigilant about sensitive information leaks and thieves targeting their customers, but we’re all going to have to keep our guard up about this issue.
In addition to never giving your information out, it’s critical that you keep your passwords stored securely, and you never text anyone your password. You should make sure that you rename your loved ones something else in your address book. A thief that gets a hold of your phone may ask them for sensitive information. If they don’t know that your phone is stolen, even something as innocent as your mother’s maiden name can be used to take your identity or otherwise harm you. Never give anyone important details in text, because it’s horribly insecure.
Keeping these tips in mind will keep your money where it belongs: in your current account.