Banks nationwide are seeing a rise in text and phone fraud related to person-to-person payment services. In dozens of reported cases, a victim receives a text message about a pending payment which the victim is asked to confirm or deny.
After sending a response, the victim will quickly receive a phone call from the scammer pretending to be a bank representative. The caller ID is spoofed so it appears to verify the call is coming from the victim’s bank.
Under the pretense of preventing the unauthorized transfer, the victim is asked by the phony bank representative to verify their identity by providing their online banking username. Once the victim provides this information, the fraudster can initiate a forgot password request on the bank’s website, and complete the password reset process to change the victim’s online banking password. Once the password has been changed, the fraudster can transfer the victim’s money out of their account.
Never trust anyone who calls or texts you to perform a financial transaction, even if that person seems to be legitimate. Instead, call the bank yourself using the number published on the bank’s website. Don’t give out one-time verification codes to anyone.
Tips to avoid phishing and smishing scams:
Don’t respond: If you receive a call from someone saying they’re from your bank, hang up and call your bank directly using a phone number published on the bank’s website or on the back of your payment card.
Don’t trust caller ID or answer phone calls from unknown numbers: Phone numbers can be easily spoofed to appear to be from a legitimate caller. Even if you recognize the caller ID but the call seems suspicious, hang up.
Don’t give out your information: Never provide any personally identifiable information unless you’re absolutely certain the person and reason are legitimate. Banks will never ask you to provide personal information such as an account number, Social Security number, or login information over text or email. Consider utilizing a passcode or passphrase for authentication with your bank.