Smishing scams use text messages to steal info

Smishing scams use text messages to try and get your persona information. (Source: NBC12)
Smishing scams use text messages to try and get your persona information. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A new scam uses text messages to trick you into giving up your banking information.

The text messages used in smishing scams vary, but they all pose as an urgent alert from a bank or business. Some give a number to call, others claim there's trouble with your account and you need to get it straight now.

One scam text message fraudulently uses the company name SunTrust and gives a number to call. When the victim dials what's equivalent to a toll number, the system may ask you to hold. While waiting the charges rack up, some as high as $19 dollars per minute.

A return call may also ask the recipient to validate your account data through a text or phone call. In an online message, SunTrust says if you get a message like this, do not respond. Report it to your bank.

Tom Gallagher with the Better Business Bureau reminds people neither SunTrust, nor any other bank, would call, text or email you regarding your bank account. The BBB says ignore the message. If you have already called and given out information you have damage control to do.

"I'm going to suggest that you get a hold of the bank and maybe talk to them about changing your accounts and go to the credit bureaus," said Gallagher. "There are three main credit bureaus. Just go online and look up credit checks."

To be safe, don't respond. If you get a text you're unsure of, delete it. Ignore instructions to confirm your information or visit a link. Also, be careful about displaying your cell number in emails or listing it on websites.

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC.

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