Beware of scammers using text messaging

From press reports


Watch out for text messages that pose as bank alerts asking you to confirm account information.

The scam texts, known as smishing, are a relatively new way to steal personal information and have appeared in the Winston County area.

The Citizens Bank recently issued a warning for customers to look out for scammers and other banks have notified customers in the past of the potential for text messaging scammers.

Often the text message says that the customer’s debit card has beet deactivated and that they need to call or text a certain number to have their card reactivated. When calling this number, the customer is asked to enter their debit card number and gives the scammer a chance to steal your information.

The Citizens Bank of Philadelphia issued a notice that will not contact its customers and ask for a debit card number or bank account number.

The details of the scam vary. Banks of all sizes, from local businesses to multi-national institutions, have been targeted by scammers. And scam texts use a variety of messages and techniques.

However, the desired outcome is the same. If you call a number or go to a website, scammers will use the opportunity to obtain your banking information. For example, the phone number or website may prompt you enter your ATM card number and PIN under the guise of “reactivating your ATM card.” Other times, the link may download malicious software that gives scammers access to anything on the phone.

Contact the bank immediately if you have been contacted by a scammer.