Fake bank text messages are a problem consumers should be careful with

Ent financial crimes expert says it's a constant and unrestricted problem right now
Fake bank text messages are a problem consumers should be careful with
Posted at 5:00 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 09:39:50-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Have you noticed an increasing number of random text messages coming into your phone? Maybe even some that claim to be from a bank? This year is projected to be record-breaking for robotext messages and financial crime investigators at Ent Credit Union are urging consumers to be careful.

”It is frustrating. They ramp up on the weekend against financial institutions,” said Vice President of Financial Crimes at Ent Credit Union LaShae Woodard. “So I’ll get text messages from my friends and family saying, is this real?”

Woodard spends her days working to combat fraud impacting people in the Pikes Peak Region and she agrees fake bank text messages are out of control.

”There isn’t anything preventative at this time. Someone can text anybody that they feel like at any time,” said Woodard.

News5 asked Woodard if there was a common tactic she saw in these random text messages.

”They’re trying to put a sense of urgency so that the first thing you do is click,” said Woodard. “Why would you waste time calling the bank when you believe the bank is reaching out to you?”

Unfortunately, this tactic is working for fraudsters who are taking money and sensitive information. In fact, Robokiller (a company that tracks robo-text messages) says this year alone, consumers will lose $28 billion due to robo-texts and a record 147 billion will be sent by the end of the year.

”Until we can stop people from mass sending out texts and see the spoof call is coming from the real phone, it will always happen. For them, they are just casting a wide net to see what they can bring back,” said Woodard.

Here are some pieces of bank imposter text advice and red flags from the Better Business Bureau:

  • A bank will never ask you to send money to yourself– Don’t let someone convince you to do it. 
  • If they ask for a one-time passcode don’t share it– They use it to access accounts and change information  
  • Don’t call numbers they provide– Call number on your card or bill to contact your bank directly
  • Don’t reply to a suspicious text– Fraudsters will then save your number as active and use it for future attacks. 

”If they can send out 100 texts and get five or ten percent of people to fall and send them money. They win,” warned Woodard.

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