State warns of new phishing scam with fake bank fraud alerts | #phishing | #scams

The New York State Division of Consumer Protection is warning people of a phishing scam involving fake bank fraud alerts coming to your cell phone.

Fraudsters are impersonating financial institutions claiming that a customer’s account is compromised “due to unusual activity,” but the message is an attempt to deceive the recipient into sharing personal information, officials said.

These scams usually work when someone poses as a representative of a bank or financial institution to get information such as your credit card number, bank account number, or social security number. This is known as phishing.

The message usually asks the users to confirm their account information, make a payment, or claim a prize. The scam may also ask the users to click on a link inside the text, which directs them to a phony website that looks like the financial institution’s website, or it may install malware onto their device. 

Anyone who receives a fraudulent text message should delete the message right away.

“With the advances in technology, unscrupulous individuals are becoming more creative in how to steal your personal information, which can result in identity theft and serious financial hardship,” said New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez.

“Anyone who receives unsolicited, dubious text messages should delete them right away.The Division of Consumer Protection works tirelessly to make people aware of schemes such as the phishing texts trying to steal your financial and personal information with just a click on a fraudulent link.”

Advice for avoiding scams:

• Inspect the sender’s information to confirm that the message was generated from a legitimate source. Do not click on the link or call the number on the text.

• Do not respond to the text. Even writing “stop” will let the scammer know that your number is genuine, and they may sell your number to other scammers.

• Banks will never ask you to provide confidential information through texts. Requests to do so, especially with poor spelling or grammar, are telltale signs of a scam.

• If you are suspicious, call the alleged bank or financial institution directly to ask about their protocols for altering customers of potential fraud.

• Do not post sensitive information online. The less information you post, the less data you make available to a cybercriminal for using in scams or attacks.

• Keep an eye out for misspelled words, which are used to bypass a phone carrier’s filter system for fraud.

State officials recommend using your phone to block numbers from unknown senders. For more information on phishing scams and how to avoid them, visit the website of the state Office of Information Technology Services at:

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