SAN ANTONIO – That text message that looks to be from your bank, may not be.
RBFCU is warning that phishing scams are getting trickier and more common.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, reports about bank impersonation text scams jumped within the first 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2022 consumers lost more than $300 million. The bothersome text scams show no sign of slowing down.
Scammers are using text messages because it usually triggers an immediate response from their target. Couple that with a fake claim that appears urgent and a call to action to solve it and you’ve got yourself a scam.
Brian Munsterteiger, RBFCU Vice President - Enterprise Fraud Management says they are aware of the rising trend and are working to prevent RBFCU impersonators to members and non-members.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in the last two months. Based on the number of reported phishing texts, we’ve seen a 230% increase in May and June compared to the previous six months,” Munsterteiger said. “We want to give our members and the public the knowledge they need to fight these scams. Education is the first step in taking down these fraudsters.”
So, what’s the urgency? The fake text you receive may claim to be a financial institution pretending to offer help if you could just verify who you are by utilizing the link, but it’s a lie. A bank will never ask you to sign in or provide personal information via texting.
Who’s contacting you? The full phone number or email address from the sender instead of a shortened code should alert you that it could be a scammer hoping to catch you off guard. If you do not recognize the sender’s information, be cautious before proceeding.
Wait, don’t click that link and don’t respond. ‘Text YES or NO’, ‘Call this number’, ‘to avoid account suspension please use this link to confirm your information’. If you have reason to believe your bank is attempting to reach out to you to settle an issue, consider contacting them directly by phone or try sending a secure message or chat with a representative by visiting your bank’s website.
It’s personal for a reason. If you’re asked to text back your usernames, passwords, passcodes, PINs, Social Security numbers, account, debit or credit card numbers, don’t be rushed. Your personal information is personal for a reason. A financial institution will never contact you asking you to verify your personal information.
- Copy the spam message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM)
- Use your messaging app to report it as junk or spam
- Report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
And if you believe you’ve received an unsolicited text message that appears to be from RBFCU, members and non-members are encouraged to send a screen shot of the text message to email@example.com.
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