The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about a text message scam that’s fooling people into sharing their personal information with thieves. The scam text messages appear to be sent by banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions. This morning I received one of the texts myself. It was hard to fall for this one considering that I am not even a client at CIBC:
Links that appear to be legitimate
Scammers are sending links that appear to be legitimate via text messages. If the victim clicks on this link, it can infect their phones with damaging software or it redirects to another website where consumers are asked for personal information, which is then stolen and used maliciously. The scammers are after consumers’ bank account information and debit- or credit card number.
Never click on the link! BBB: “Even if it really is your bank sending you a message, don’t risk the possibility that it’s not. Taking the time to log in to your online bank account through a secure network is a lot easier than the trouble you’d be dealing with after thieves get their hands on your personal information” (read more).
How to avoid getting scammed:
- Do not reply to text messages or click on links inside texts from numbers you do not recognize
- Immediately delete suspicious text messages. Legitimate companies do not ask for sensitive information by email or text
- Report the text messages to your wireless carrier
- Check your phone bill for services you haven’t ordered. Some charges may appear only once, but others might be monthly “subscriptions”