Identity thieves are taking advantage of the modern text-message culture, and pioneering a new way to scam unsuspecting consumers.
Attorney General Terry Goddard warned consumers on Wednesday not to be overly trusting of the text messages they receive.
According to Goddard, the latest “phishing” trend comes from scam text messages posing as well known financial institutions. Multiple messages are sent out and occasionally reach people who use the actual bank; these are the people most likely to fall victim to the phony messages, he said.
The text messages report irregularities or suspension of accounts and provide a phone number to call and reactivate accounts, according to Goddard.
“This leads to a recording which directs you to enter your bank account number,” Goddard said in a public statement.
Goddard warned consumers to be watchful of unknown sources requesting personal or financial information, and offered several tips to avoid identity fraud. Consumers were advised to delete unknown text messages and hang-up unknown numbers; not to give out personal or financial information such as social security or credit card numbers; and to report any suspicious activity to the Attorney General’s Office.
Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity is asked to contact the Attorney General’s Office at (602) 542-5763 or visit www.azag.gov.