The Federal Trade Commission reported that text message scams resulted in consumers losing $330 million in 2022 – double what it was in 2021. And, bank fraud warnings, the most common form of text message scam, have increased twentyfold since 2019.
Many bank text message scams are presented with a sense of urgency, often asking people to verify a large transaction they did not make. Those who respond are connected to a fake bank representative who then requests their account information.
Other text scams involve offers of a free gift, a failed package delivery, phony job offers, and fake Amazon security alerts.
Follow these tips to avoid text scams:
- Never click on links or respond to unexpected texts. If you think it might be legit, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Do NOT use the information in the text message.
- If you have agreed to receive text messages from your bank, there is a list of red flags that can help determine whether a banking related text is legitimate.
- Banks will never ask for personal or confidential information via text messages. If a message asks for your PIN code, online credentials, or other account information, ignore it and report it to your bank at the Federal Trade Commission.
- Banks will also never ask you to verify your identity by clicking a link.
- Watch for claims of urgency that encourage you to act immediately to avoid an issue.
- Watch out for links that are similar to your bank's official website but vary slightly such as having a .info domain extension instead of .com or .bank.
- Banks will never ask you to transfer money via text message.
- Banks will not send you a prize announcement for a contest you didn't enter.
What should I do if I've received a text message for a banking scam?
- Take a screenshot of the text message for reporting purposes.
- Delete the message to avoid accidentally engaging with it.
- Report the text message to both your bank and the FTC (email@example.com).
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call a Marine Bank banking center.