BBB warns of text message phishing scam

Published: May. 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2013 at 2:01 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A text messaging scam is working its way through the Tennessee Valley.

Lately, customers with Verizon Wireless have been receiving a text from local Cadence or BBVA banks asking the recipient to contact them regarding their account number. Officials with the Better Business Bureau say: Do not hand your information over.

"Right when I saw the text message, I thought my bank account had been frozen based on my recent activity," said Lauren Downey.  She received two text messages Tuesday and one on Wednesday.

Downey figured the text was bogus, but she called the number the text asks you to call just to be sure.

"I knew right then that my bank would call me and they would not make me put anything into an automated system," she said.

Michele Mason with the Better Business Bureau said they've been getting notified about the text messages for weeks.

"What happens is you call the number and you are asked to enter in your card number, but that is usually the extent of the call," she said.  "The whole purpose is to capture your debit card account so they can use that and take your money."

Mason said if you have a cell phone, these types of phishing scams can happen.

"They are sending them out trying to cast a wide net so they can find someone who does have an account and will think this message is valid."

Downey said she isn't a member of Cadence bank and she's spoken with other recipients of this mass text who don't belong to the banks.

"In this case, the companies are just victims of their names being well known in our area and they may have a lot of account holders," Mason said.  "This is not an indication they have had a security breach."

If you have received the text, called that number and turned over your information, Mason advises to call your bank immediately as well as the police to file a report and the Federal Trade Commission.

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