7 On Your Side: Scammers targeting text messages - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7 On Your Side: Scammers targeting text messages


Thousands of East Texans have received a text message claiming their bank account has been deactivated or compromised. The Better Business Bureau says this is a new type of scam called "smishing". 

If you fall victim, the culprits could empty out your bank account and even take over your identity. 

When Hallsville High School teacher Gayla McMaster received a text alert saying her First National Bank credit card had been deactivated, she knew better.

"It was clearly in my mind a mistake or a scam," she said. 

She called the number in the text, but didn't get much information. 

"And that sounded even fishier. It was a little bit automated and did not have the quality I was used to dealing with the bank, my own local bank," said McMaster. 

We also called; however this time there was no one on the other end. The recording said the number had been disconnected. 

Mechele Mills with the Better Business Bureau says had someone answered, you likely would have heard someone requesting your personal information.

"The first thing they're going to ask you is to confirm your card number, and they want you to read your card number to them," she said. 

Never, she says reveal vital information over the phone.

"If you really want to test them, ask them to tell you the number that they're calling about, but typically it is not your financial institution that has sent that message unless you've signed up for something like that," said Mills. "So, instead of calling the number that's in the text message, call your financial institution and ask them if they did indeed send you a text message.

As for McMaster, she followed her instincts and was quickly able to nail it down as crooks looking for a quick buck.
"Don't ever respond to emails or phone calls or texts," she said. "You call back using the numbers that you know are for the legitimate company." 

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