Provincial police are warning residents about a bank text messaging scam that can be used to infect phones or steal personal information. The cell owner receives a text message claiming an issue with their bank account; such as it having been suspended. The message will contain a link to a web page which it claims they can verify their information and help solve their issue. But, police say, clicking that link allows damaging software to access a person’s phone or redirects them to a site where their personal information is stolen with the aim of accessing their debit or credit card number.
“Never click on the link!” police say in a media release. “Taking the time to log in to your online bank account through a secure network is a lot easier than the trouble you’d be dealing with after thieves get their hands on your personal information.”
Here are some tips from police to avoid getting scammed:
- Don’t reply to text messages or click on links from phone numbers you don’t recognize.
- Delete suspicious text messages right away. Legitimate companies do not ask for sensitive information by email or text.
- Report suspicious text messages to your wireless carrier.
- Keep an eye on your bill for services you haven’t ordered. Some charges may appear only once, but others might be monthly “subscriptions”.
- Always independently verify phone numbers which contact you.
- Never click open a link from an unfamiliar email.
Fraudsters are constantly creating new ways to trick people out of their money. If you think you have been the victim of a scam or fraud or if you would just like more information on how to protect yourself, check out the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call them at 1-888-495-8501.