FBI Warns Public of New Text Message Scam
The FBI is warning Americans about the latest scam, tricking people into transferring funds to "reverse" instant payments.
The scam usually starts with a text that reads something like "Bank Fraud Alert- Did You Attempt an Instant Payment in the amount of $5,000.00? REPLY YES or NO or 1 To STOP ALERTS."
If someone replies "no" another text comes that reads "Our fraud specialist will be contacting you shortly."
A fraudster will call and may even have background information on the victim, convincing them to "send a payment to themselves" to stop the instant transactions - except that payment and your bank information goes directly to the scammer.
The FBI says we should all be skeptical of these texts, enable Multi-Factor Authentication for all financial accounts and be wary of any unsolicited requests to verify any information.
The FBI suggests that everyone use the following precautions when getting any text message that seems to come from their bank or a payment application company:
Be wary of unsolicited requests to verify account information. Scammers are good at using email addresses and phone numbers; that's why it might seem like a message is coming from a legitimate financial institution. The IC3 says anyone who receives a call or text message regarding possible fraud or unauthorized transfers should NOT respond directly. Instead, they should contact the institution through a verified source.
“Contact the financial institution's fraud department through verified telephone numbers and email addresses on official bank websites or documentation, not through those provided in texts or emails,” the agency suggests.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for all financial accounts. Enabling multi-factor authentication can help protect your account, but make sure you do not provide your code or password to anyone over the phone. PayPal users can use this guide to help set up multi-factor authentication, and Venmo users can use this resource.
Be skeptical of unsolicited messages. Financial institutions will never ask customers to transfer funds between their accounts. Even if the source seems to have a lot of personal information about you, that doesn't mean that they're legitimate. The IC3 says the proliferation of large-scale data breaches over the last decade has allowed criminals to compile mountains of personal data to use in their schemes.
Learn more here: https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams