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Scammers using fake messages to gain access to consumer bank accounts

Posted at 8:11 AM, May 19, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thousands are getting suspicious emails or texts about their accounts and scammers are using these phony messages to try and steal from you.

Michelle Hoeting got a text message on her phone the other day and was immediately worried.

"The account said it was locked due to suspicious activity. It was terrifying that my bank was going to be locked," Hoeting said.

She says she almost clicked the link when another text arrived, one from Wells Fargo.

It also said her online banking had been locked due to unusual activity.

But she didn't have a Wells Fargo account which is when she got suspicious. It was a text message scam sometimes called "smishing."

The Federal Trade Commission says these scammers don't know you have an account with a particular bank.

The scammers send these texts randomly knowing if you have an account with that bank you're going to pay attention.

The FTC says if you get a suspicious text from your bank:

  • Do not click any links.
  • Do not call a phone number in the text.
  • Never give your account number.

Remember: If your bank tells you something is wrong with your account call them on their main number, not the number you get from a text or e-mail.

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