Vishing scams target consumers by “spoofing” text or voicemail messages that ask you to call a phone number and give your personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a “spoof” e-mail or text message about suspicious account activity.
- The text or voicemail message will ask you to call a “customer service” number.
- When you call the customer service number, a recording will ask you to provide personal information such as account numbers, passwords, a social security number, or other critical information.
- The recording may not mention the company’s name and could potentially be an indication the call is being used for fraud.
- You can also receive a phone call.
- The call could be a “live” person or a recorded message.
- The caller may already have your personal information, which may seem as if the call is legitimate.
Smishing is when consumers’ cell phones and other mobile devices are targeted with mobile spam. The spam, or text messages, attempt to trick consumers into providing personal information. Here’s how it works:
- You receive a fake text message, which may include a fraudulent link, asking you to register for an online service.
- The scammer attempts to load a virus onto your cell phone or mobile device.
- The scammer may also send a message ‘warning’ you that your account will be charged unless you cancel your supposed online order.
- When you attempt to log on to the website, the scammer extracts your credit card number and other personal information.
- In turn, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
- Scammers may also send you a text message again ‘warning’ you that your bank account has been closed due to suspicious activity.
- The text message will ask you to call a ‘customer service’ number to reactivate your account.
- When you call the number, you are taken to an automated voice mail box that prompts you to key in your credit card, debit card or ATM card number, expiration date and PIN to verify your information.
- Again, your information is used to duplicate credit, debit and ATM cards.
Lottery/Sweepstakes scams target consumers by a notification, which arrives through the mail, by email, or by an unsolicited telephone call. Here’s how it works:
- The notification advises you have won a prize, but you did not enter in any type of lottery or sweepstake by the promoter contacting you.
- The promoter will ask you to send payment to cover the cost of redeeming the prize when the prize does not exist.
- In this type of scam, you may rarely if ever receive any winnings in return.
Check Overpayment scams target consumers who sell items through an online auction site or a classified ad. Here’s how it works:
- The seller takes a big loss when the ‘buyer’ passes a counterfeit cashier’s check, money order, corporate or personal check as payment.
- The counterfeit check is written for more than the agreed price.
- The ‘buyer’ will ask the consumer to wire back the difference after the check has been deposited.
- The check will more than likely bounce and the consumer becomes liable for the entire amount.
- Deposit outgoing mail at the Post Office.
- Remove incoming mail from your personal mailbox as soon as possible, or use a P.O. Box or locked, secure mailbox.
- Request a mail hold from the United States Postal Service or call them at 1-800-275-8777 if you plan to be away from home for an extended period.
- Know your billing cycles. If bills are late or missing, contact your creditors.
- Watch for your new or replacement Checkcard from us. You should receive it within five business days.
- Switch to a more secure way of receiving your account statement. When you sign up for First Texas Bank Online E-Statements, your statement will no longer sit in your mailbox. Instead, we will send you an e-mail when your statement is available through your secure Online Banking account.
- Do not give out personal information, such as your account numbers, card numbers, Social Security/tax identification numbers, passwords, or PINs, unless you have initiated the call.
- We will not make an unsolicited call requesting your personal information.
- If you ever believe you are not talking to a representative of a legitimate company, hang up and call the phone number listed in the telephone book.