BBB Scam Alert: Don't Give Criminals Your Life Savings - Delete Phony Banking Texts

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BBB-CV President & CEO Barry N. Moore warns consumers of a scam that targets individuals through a fake text message from their bank.

Scam texts, known as smishing (a combination of "SMS" and "phishing"), are a relatively new way to steal personal information, but “there are specific precautions the Better Business Bureau can share that will keep consumers from falling for this scam,” said Barry N. Moore, BBB-CV president.

BBB serving Central Virginia is issuing a scam alert for the recent renewal of an old scam: Text messages that look like alerts from a bank. How does it work?

If a consumer receives a text message similar to the attached (this example is an actual screen grab of a scam text received by a BBB staff member). It appears to be an alert about a hold on a customer's personal bank account and it provides a link to help reactivate it. The individual may or may not have an account with that bank, but either way, if it is opened it, look out.

These scam texts use a variety of messages and techniques, but the desired outcome is the same. If the customer calls the number or goes to the website the scammer says to respond, scammers will then use that opportunity to obtain their banking information. Another example is the website prompts the user to enter their ATM card number and PIN to solve the issue, but malicious software is standing ready to give scammers access to anything in the phone or computer.

What Can I Do About Scam Text Messages?

Scam texts, known as smishing (a combination of "SMS" and "phishing"), are a relatively new way to steal personal information, but “there are specific precautions the Better Business Bureau can share that will keep consumers from falling for this scam,” said Barry N. Moore, BBB-CV president.

For Additional Information

Go to bbb.org/ScamTips [bbb.org/ScamTips __title__ bbb.org/ScamTips]. Read more about phishing scams at bbb.org/PhisingScam [BBB.org/PhishingScam __title__ bbb.org/PhishingScam]. If you've been the victim of a scam, help others avoid the same trap by reporting what happened on the BBB Scam Tracker.

About BBB serving Central Virginia: Provides service to Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest, and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business profiles, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education, and charity review.

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Elizabeth Larus
Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia
8046480016
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