8 On Your Side Alert: Scammers pose as banks, send urgent texts

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Fraudsters are using text messages and posing as banks to get account information.

Susan Rodenbeck got a text at two in the morning. It indicated it was from SunTrust, urgent, and instructed her to call a number it provided. She did. She believes she fell for it because she had recently used her debit card.

“It was at a rather sketchy gas station. So I immediately thought it was a fraud call, that they were doing it for my protection,” she explained.

When she dialed the number, the recording indicated it was SunTrust, and then she followed the automated prompts. She provided her debit card number, expiration date, and the three digit security code on back. But when it asked for her social security number, she knew something was wrong.

“About the fourth or fifth question I hung up and called SunTrust immediately because I was afraid they already had my account number, and the expiration date, I was afraid they’d use it immediately,” she revealed.

8 On Your Side got in touch with SunTrust. Here is their statement:

“This is a fraudulent scam that is an industry wide issue and not unique to us.   Fraudsters randomly contact individuals, hoping to reach some actual clients of the institution they happen to be using.  We advise our clients that we will not contact them asking for sensitive personal or account information.  If anyone has provided or verified their personal information to such a request, they should contact their financial institution immediately.   If an individual ever has any questions or concerns about any communication identified as coming from their financial institution, they should avoid providing or verifying any information and contact their institution directly to determine if the communication is legitimate.”

Now, Rodenbeck is sounding the alarm.

“I put it out in the middle of the night on Facebook and actually had a couple of people say it had happened to them too,” she said.

What should you do if you receive a text like this?

  • Do not answer the text.
  • If you think you provided information to scammers, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.
  • If you do make a call about an account, make sure you are actually calling your bank by verifying the phone number on their website.
  • You may need to cancel your card.
  • If you have questions about a text, email, or mail that appears to be from your bank, you can take it to a nearby location and get them to check it out.
  • Check your statements to make sure there are no unauthorized charges.

You can also request a free credit report from: http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

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