SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is warning consumers about bogus text messages and bank phone calls and encouraging Oregonians not to respond.
The Oregon Department of Justice has received reports that many of these purported text messages and phone calls claim to be from the individual’s actual financial institution, causing people to panic. They think their bank account is at risk and they need to fix the problem immediately. Not so. It is a ploy to obtain personal information. Do not fall into the trap !
In one version of the scam, a text message arrives implying that changes have been made to your account. The message can mention a phone number, an e-mail or a password. It will ask you to call a number “if you haven’t made this request”.
In another version of this scam, the text asks if you attempted to make a major purchase on a particular date and asks you to respond with “Yes” or “No”. AGAIN: Don’t!
“Do NOT answer these bogus calls and texts! It’s a scam,” says Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. personal information, such as your account number, your PIN code or even your social security number. Don’t be fooled. By giving them this information, they can access your financial accounts and rob you blindly.
If you have been the victim of a fake text or phone call scam, please file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call 1-877-877- 9392 and request that a complaint form be mailed to you. .
Never provide personal information to anyone who calls claiming to be from a bank or other financial institution and tells you that your account has been compromised. This is because they are – more than likely – trying to scam you. Banks don’t make calls like these.
Take charge! Tell the caller you will call back. Next: find a reliable phone number (not the one they give you) for your bank and call them. Tell them what just happened.
In particular: never give a caller your account number, credit card information, PIN codes, usernames, passwords, or social security number (or any part thereof).
Also: don’t click to reply to a text or email claiming to be from a bank. Again: find a reliable number for the bank (especially a local branch) and call them yourself.
Why do I sound so urgent about it? The other day my husband and I almost fell for this scam. So, I want you all to be safe from extremely sneaky banking imposters. (If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone!)
Here’s a bit more on the subject from our consumer protection team:
Visit “Banks Never Ask That” (https://www.banksneveraskthat.com/). This is a very useful and informative industry-wide campaign to educate consumers about phishing scams.
Check that there is a problem. If you receive a text or phone call that appears to be from your bank claiming that your account has been compromised, do not respond until you can verify that there is a problem. Find your bank’s phone number in a phone book or on the back of your debit or credit card, or on a monthly statement to make sure you’re calling your bank and not a scammer. Call this number and ask the bank if there is a problem with your account.
Never give personal information to unsolicited callers. If your bank, cable company or utility company claims to be the caller, do NOT give them your personal information to “verify” your identity. Hang up the phone, find the phone number for the bank, cable company or utility company and call to verify.
Beware of links sent by SMS. The link sent by SMS could be a similar website, mimicking your online banking portal. If you click on the link and provide your login details, the scammers then gain access to your online accounts. INSTEAD: Visit your bank’s website from another source, not by clicking on a link sent via SMS.
Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to avoid future text messages. This is a common ploy used by scammers to confirm they have a real active phone number.