Scammers using text message alerts to get personal information

Scammers are using text message alert systems from banks and credit card companies to hit unsuspecting customers with phishing attacks.

Customers in the region have reported receiving convincing fake text messages that appear to be from their financial institution.

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They may ask you to click a link or call a phone number in an effort to get you to give up your passwords and personal information.

One fake text appears to be from PNC Bank and asks customers to click on a link.

“It causes a lot of havoc in your life,” said Anne McCusker of Farmersville, who received such a text message.

“I didn’t think anything about it until it asked me for my password and for my checking account, and that’s when alarm bells went off and I stopped,” she said.

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PNC has issued an alert to customers about text message scams and warns them to avoid any text with misspellings, grammatical errors, offers of prizes, instructions to “act now” and requests for PINs, passwords and user names.

Another local resident received a phishing text that appears to be from Chase Bank. A bank representative said customers who receive suspicious texts should contact Chase using the number on the back of their debit or credit cards.

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McCusker’s message for the scammers: “Get a job. Make a living the right way, you know, just like the rest of us.”

Experts advise consumers to check credit card and bank statements frequently and to immediately report any suspicious or fraudulent activity.

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