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Scam targeting bank customers through texting used more by crooks

You may rely on fraud alerts from your bank, but a fast-growing phone scam is now targeting banking customers through text messages. It’s the latest trend...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – You may rely on fraud alerts from your bank, but a fast-growing phone scam is now targeting banking customers through text messages. It’s the latest trend hackers are using to get your personal information. First Horizon Bank is aware of it, and other nationally known banks are also experiencing it.

Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South says scammers are getting extra savvy in their approach and people should be beware.

“We tend to trust those text messages. That’s a major form of communication today,” Crawford said. “Young adults have grown up with those phones in their hands 24 hours a day, and they are so used to responding immediately to a text message.”

It’s the latest means of communication hackers are using to get your information.

“If you get a text message or a phone call from your credit card company saying ‘hey we have some suspicious charges, click here to verify,’ don’t click. If it’s a phone call, hang up,” Crawford stressed.

First Horizon Bank issued an alert warning its customers to be on the lookout for impostors claiming to be from the bank. We are told they even go so far to spoof the telephone number on the Caller ID to make it appear as the bank’s customer service number.

“Don’t fall for the 1-800 numbers. Those are very easy to spoof, they are very easy to get legitimately,” Crawford explained.

Crawford says hackers are also using social media sites to get your information in order to appear credible when they call or text you.  

To avoid becoming a victim of a scam:

  • Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.
  • Never give money or personal information to someone with whom you don’t have ties and did not initiate contact.
  • Before signing up for a contest or email distribution list, make sure the business has a policy not to share your information or sell it to a third party.
  • Scammers count on your lack of knowledge, so take the time to educate yourself about any offer you receive.
  • Trust your instincts: if an unknown caller makes you uncomfortable or says things that don’t sound right, hang up.

The FBI strongly encourages anyone contacted by a caller who says they are with the FBI to verify the information with their local FBI Field Office. Contact information for all 56 FBI field offices can be found at www.fbi.gov.