Banking Scams via Text Messages
This is the latest trend, do not become a victim!
Text messages from my bank?
In a span of 7 days I received three text messages from sources claiming to be my bank and directing me to follow a link to solve an issue with my account. These messages are designed to prey upon the victim’s fear of losing money, or their insecurity around online and phone banking applications. These guys are good at stealing your money, click to learn about how they operate and how to protect yourself and your business from these thieves.
The text messages I received were well written, to the point where they seemed legitimate. The first one stated that my account was missing information and that I should click the link to finish setting up my account before it was suspended. The second one mentioned that my password had been compromised and once again asked me to click a link to resolve the issue. The third one was my favorite – it stated that a payment larger than my daily limit needed my permission to process, click to resolve.
Thieves are getting better at using today’s “Click to resolve” mentality against users. It seems that users want things to be as simple as possible, and cyber criminals are using this to their benefit. Who wouldn’t want to click a button to resolve their banking issues? In an honest world, that would be a good thing. But the world is not an honest place, and treating it as if it were will get you into a world of hurt if you click that link…
When a victim clicks the link, they will be directed to a legitimate looking site where they are asked to install a security (or other) application, or the link will automatically start downloading the app. Once installed, the application does two things:
1. Sends your banking information to the cyber criminal.
2. Sends all of your Contacts to the cyber criminal.
Once they have your banking and contact information, they lock you out of your account, take your money and then send similar links to your contacts. This is a very sophisticated scam, and the only guaranteed way not to become a victim is by not clicking the link.
Your bank will not text you!
If there is a problem with your bank account, you bank WILL NOT TEXT YOU! Guaranteed. If they do, then you need a new bank. I personally do not complete banking transactions from my phone – I am not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, but I do take my banking security very seriously. A few tips that I follow religiously include:
· No banking from my phone!
· I always login to my online banking from an incognito browsing session.
· I only use computers with wired connections for online banking endeavors (OK, this is a bit of a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist move).
· I disable location browsing (only for incognito sessions).
· I never store banking login information in my browser password cache.
· When in doubt about my account, I always go to a branch office or call the bank’s customer support line.
The moral of the story is, if your banking is easy and convenient, you are doomed to fall for a scam sooner or later. Become disciplined about your online banking habits, and take a serious look at any security risks you may have created by simplifying your online banking process. And lastly, for Pete’s sake, DO NOT CLICK ON THAT LINK!
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Have a great day!
About the author; Jim Morris is a classically trained IT professional who has first hand experience with the pain of poorly setup networks. His mission in life is to provide small business owners with affordable services that increase their ability to compete in their chosen market space. He is a dedicated husband, father, and son who spends his down time vacationing with family, visiting friends, coaching lacrosse, mountain biking, and enjoying all things Marvel, Star Wars and Science Fiction. #velocity #optimizeme #YYCComputerSupport