Text scam targets Wachovia customers

By Matt Butner - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A word of warning to Wachovia bank customers -- beware of fishy text messages!

NBC12 has received several reports of messages prompting Wachovia customers to call a number and give up information, but the bank says those messages are fake.

"I thought it was probably a scam," said Jessica Neese of Chesterfield. She smelled a rat when her text alert went off Sunday night, and a suspicious message popped up.

"(It said) that my card had been de-activated and I needed to call a number to re-activate it."

Instead of responding, Jessica decided to do some research on the number she had been prompted to call. A simple Internet search turned up immediate results.

"It came up under a web site called Number Investigator as being a scam or spammer-type message, and other people had already reported it," she said.

All told, Jessica and her husband received 4 of the messages within about an hour. Though she wasn't fooled, Jessica worries about others who got the same messages.

"I'm sure there's people who get it, and it's alarming- anything to do with your bank account- and would call," she said.

It's a common scam. Victims call the number and give the person or recording at the other end personal information that can be used to drain accounts.

A Wachovia spokesperson confirmed that the text messages Jessica and others received were indeed fake. In a statement, the bank says: "To ensure that a communication from Wachovia is legitimate, customers should contact Wachovia using a telephone number or web site address they know to be genuine... Unless you initiated the contact, do not give out personal information over the telephone or through text messages."

You can always find legitimate contact information on your bank statement or on the back of your bank card.

Although Jessica didn't fall for this scam, she says the damage is already done.

"Somebody has my phone number," she said. "Kind of like your e-mail when you get all the spam- there's no filter for your phone."

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