MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Beware if you get fishy looking email from your bank

DWYM: Beware if you get a "smishing" email from a source to be your bank
Posted at 3:42 PM, May 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-17 19:55:20-04

Thousands of bank customers are getting a scary-looking email about their bank accounts.

Some call it the most dangerous bank scam ever.

A text or phone call from your bank saying your account has been locked for fraud.

Michelle Hoeting got a text message on her phone the other day - and immediately worried.

"The account has been locked due to suspicious activity," she learned as it locked up her account. "It was terrifying that my bank was going to be locked."

She almost clicked the link, when another text arrived, this one from Wells Fargo.

It also said her online banking had been "locked due to unusual activity."

But she didn’t have a Wells Fargo account, which is when she got suspicious.

"I saw the link, and the link did not make sense to me," she said.

Good thing: it was a text message scam, sometimes called "smishing."

So how do these scammers know you have an account with that particular bank?

The FTC says they don't.

The scammers send these texts randomly, knowing if you have an account with that bank you're going to pay attention.

"They had detected suspicious activity, and they were going to help me," consumer Damon Lander said.

Shortly before the pandemic, Lander was hit.

But he gave his account number.

"They changed my user name, my password, changed my card PIN," Lander said.

The FTC says if you get a suspicious text from your bank:

  • Do not click any links.
  • Do not call a phone number in the text.
  • And never provide your account number.

Remember: if your bank claims a problem with your account, call the bank at their main number.

And not the number in any text or email, so you don’t waste your money.