Beware of SMS scams – Southern Standard


New scams aimed at emptying local bank accounts are making the rounds in McMinnville.

Security Federal Savings Bank has been informed by customers that there is a scam targeting local cell phone numbers asking for customer bank account information. Bank officials say they will never send text messages asking customers for account information or debit card numbers.

Anyone who thinks they have been scammed should contact the bank’s customer service number. Security Federal encourages everyone to be very careful when someone contacts you about your bank account.

A separate scam making its way in Middle Tennessee is also using text messages and the recent hot weather to try to get money. The scammer sends a text message claiming to be from an electricity company.

The text says that due to the recent spike in temperatures electricity bills will be much higher this month and part of the bill must be paid now by credit or debit card or the customer will risk a disconnection from the service.

The Better Business Bureau reports that common text reads: “Warning. Fraudulent activity has been detected on your account. Act now.” Another version implies changes have been made to the customer’s account and says to call a number if you haven’t made that request.

The scammer will trick consumers into calling an unknown number provided or send a fake link to log in to their online account. If the number is called, you may be asked to repeat personal banking information to verify your identity.

The scammer may also send a fake link which may lead to a fake website, or the link may install software on your phone that will give them access to personal data. The link could lead to an almost identical website, but after entering your information, the scammer then has access to the account.

The BBB also says to ignore text instructions to text “Stop” or “No” to prevent future text messages as this is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real number.

The BBB recommends checking for any potential problems by calling the company’s phone number directly instead of the number that called or texted.

The BBB says it never gives personal information to unsolicited callers. Whoever the caller is, never give out personal information to verify your identity and if it doesn’t seem right, hang up and call the company at a number you know is correct.


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