Text message scam targeting Piedmont Triad bank customers

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Better Business Bureau experts say during the holiday season the number of scams seems to spike.

So it wasn’t surprising to Kevin Hinterberger, president and CEO of the BBB of Central N.C., when we shared with him the following text message that people in our area claim to have received:

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When you call the number provided in the text, an automated message says your debit card has temporarily been suspended. It then asks for your social security and card number information.

Hinterberger said the text message has a lot of red flags.

“There is a space between the letters for Bank of America which helps the scammers avoid fraud detection scrubbers. The text isn’t personalized,” Hinterberger said. “Often the text is sent to people who are not even customers of a particular bank.”

"BBB recommends not responding to phone numbers or email addresses contained in unsolicited emails or texts from banks or lending institutions. Make an independent verification with your bank if you receive an email or text," Hinterberger said. "Do not click to open any attachments in these unsolicited emails or texts because they can contain viruses and malware. Your bank may ask you to forward the suspicious email or text to their fraud unit for further investigation."

Bank of America gave the following tips to their consumers:

"First and foremost, we would never contact a customer via text or otherwise and ask for personal account information."

Inquiries are most likely false if they include:

  • Requests for personal information. Bank of America will never ask you to reply with any personal information such as your Social Security number, ATM or PIN.
  • Urgent appeals. We will never claim your account may be closed if you fail to confirm, verify or authenticate your personal information.
  • Messages about system and security updates. We will never claim the need to confirm important information due to system upgrades.
  • Offers that sound too good to be true. We will never ask you to provide your account number or put up money so you can receive money.

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