Watch out for this text message scam. Con artists are trying to fool users into sharing personal information by sending text messages that look like alerts from banks.
How the Scam Works:
You receive a text message that appears to be from a bank. It's prompting you to update your profile and provides a link to a website. The link may even have the bank's name as part of the domain (see example in photo).
If you click on the URL, you will be taken to a form that looks like part of the bank's website. The page will prompt to "confirm" your identity by entering your name, user ID, password and/or bank account number. Don't do it! Sharing this information puts you at risk for identity theft.
Protect yourself from text message scams.
- Just hit delete! Ignore instructions to confirm your phone number or visit a link. Some scam texts instruct you to text "STOP" or "NO" to prevent future texts. But this is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.
- Read your phone bill. Check your phone bill for services you haven't ordered. Some charges may appear only once, but others might be monthly "subscriptions."
- Know your rights. Real commercial text messages must provide a free, easy way for you to opt out of future communication. Learn more here.
- Know how to combat spam texts. In Canada, an anti-spam law covers text messages. Learn more about reporting and fighting spam here. In the US, forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM on most keypads). This will alert your cellphone carrier to block future texts from those numbers.
- Watch out for lookalike URLs. Just because a URL has the name of a real company in it, doesn't mean it's legitimate. Anyone can register a subdomain (realcompany.website.com) or similar URL (realcompany1234.com).
- Ask your phone carrier about blocking third-party charges. Mobile phone carriers permit outside businesses to place charges on your phone bill, but many carriers also allow you to block these charges for free.