Some call it the most dangerous bank scam ever. A text or a phone call from your bank saying your account has been locked for fraud.
Michelle Hoeting got a text message on her phone the other day and immediately worried. It was locking up her account.
“It was terrifying that my bank was going to be locked,” Hoeting said.
She almost clicked the link, when another text arrived from Wells Fargo. It also said her online banking had been locked due to unusual activity.
But she didn’t have a Wells Fargo account, which is when she got suspicious.
“I saw the link and the link did not make sense to me,” Hoeting said.
It was a text message scam, sometimes known as “Smishing.”
So how do these scammers know you have an account with a particular bank?
The FTC says they don’t. The scammers send these texts randomly, knowing if you have an account with that bank, you’re going to pay attention.
“They had detected suspicious activity, and they were going to help me,” Damon Lander a victim of the scam said.
Shortly before the pandemic, Lander was hit, but he gave his account number.
“They changed my username, my password, changed my card PIN,” Lander said.
The FTC says if you get a suspicious text from your bank, do not click any links, do not call the phone number in the text and never give your account number.
Remember, if your bank claims a problem with your account, call the bank at their main number, not the number in any text or email, so you don’t waste your money.