Scammers are constantly targeting people to get personal information. Common scams target websites, emails, social media, and phone calls. Most scammers claim to be a legitimate company and will ask for personal information to verify an account you have with them. Most people cannot count on their fingers the number of times they have been approached by scammers. Scammers use any platform they can to communicate with people, and since more and more companies are moving mobile with text messages, so are scammers
Wells Fargo SMS Message Scam
ABC news reported this week that Wells Fargo customers are receiving messages from numbers claiming to be Wells Fargo but further investigations show the numbers to be a scam. People received a text from a number claiming to be Well Fargo that said there is an error on their account and to call the listed number. If you call the listed number, they ask you to verify bank and personal number, including your social security number.
But this is not the first time that scammers have taken to SMS messages. It is not even the first time they have attempted to scam Wells Fargo customers. ABC news in Los Angeles reported an almost identical text message scam targeting Wells Fargo customers in the San Gabriel Valley, California, on June 16, 2015. People who called the number about the “bank error” were instructed to provide their social security number, card number, PIN number, card expiration date, and three-digit security code.
In June 2014, Wells Fargo customers in Richmond, Virginia, were targeted with the same message scam that directed customers to call and provide personal information. Those are just three isolated areas, but the same scam, using different phone numbers of course, were reported all over the United States. Anyone can be targeted for a scam. Since SMS messaging is so popular and widely used, it has become a popular method for scammers to get people’s personal information.
SMS Message Scam Cautions
Many banks and other institutions offer advice on staying clear of targeted scammers. Well Fargo’s website outlines a few steps to take if you think you have received a text message scam.
Use caution if you receive an email or text expressing an urgent need for you to update your information, activate your online banking account, or verify your identity by clicking on a link.
If you receive an email or text message requesting sensitive information, do not respond, and delete it.
If you receive a suspicious phone call requesting your information or access to your account, hang up and contact the company using a legitimate source such as a phone number on the company’s website.
Take Caution with SMS Messages from Unknown Numbers
If you are ever in doubt of the authenticity of messages, contact your bank or institution directly. Call customer service or fraud services and ask about the validity of messages that you have received. Most banks and other institutions send secure messages through their website’s messaging system, so if you receive any account queries in any other manner, contact the company directly through a known, affiliated phone number.
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