This is an important message to all Oregonians from AG Ellen Rosenblum:
Do not — under any circumstances — provide personal information to anyone who calls claiming to be from a bank or other financial institution and tells you your account has been compromised. That’s because they’re – more than likely – trying to scam you. Banks do not place calls like these.
Take charge! Tell the caller you’ll call back. Then: find a reliable phone number — not one they give you — for your bank and call them. Tell them what just happened.
In particular: never give any caller your account number, credit card information, pin numbers, ids, passwords, or Social Security number (or any part of it).
Similarly: do not click to respond to a text or email purporting to be from a bank. Again: find a reliable number for the bank (especially a local branch) and call them yourself.
Why am I sounding so urgent about this? The other day, my husband and I almost fell for this very scam. So, I want all of you to be safe from extremely devious bank imposters. (If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone!)
Here’s a little more on the subject from our Consumer Protection Team:
- Visit “Banks Never Ask That” (https://www.banksneveraskthat.com/). This is a very helpful and informative industry-wide campaign to educate consumers about phishing scams.
- Verify that there is an issue. If you get a text message or phone call that looks to be from your bank, claiming your account has been compromised, do not respond until you can verify there is an issue. Find your bank’s phone number in a phone directory or on the back of your debit or credit card, or on a monthly statement to ensure you’re actually calling your bank — and not a scammer. Call that number and ask the bank if there is an issue with your account.
- Never give personal information to unsolicited callers. If your bank, cable provider or utility company says they are the caller, do NOT give them your personal information to “verify” your identity. Hang up the phone, find the phone number to the bank, cable provider or utility company, and call to verify.
- Be cautious of links sent via text. The link sent via text could be a look-a-like website, mimicking your online banking portal. If you click on the link and provide your login information, the scammers then have access to your accounts online. INSTEAD: Visit your bank’s website from another source–not by clicking through a link sent via text.
- Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is warning consumers about phony banking texts and phone calls and encouraging Oregonians NOT to respond. The Oregon Department of Justice has received reports that many of these alleged text messages and phone calls claim to be from the individual’s actual financial institution, causing people to panic. They believe their bank account is in jeopardy and they need to correct the problem immediately. Not so. This is a ploy to get personal information. Don’t’ fall for it!
In one version of the scam, a text message arrives, implying that changes have been made to your account. The message may mention a phone number, email, or password. It will instruct you to call a number “if you did not make this request.”
In another version of this scam, the text asks if you attempted to make a large purchase on a particular date and requests that you reply with “Yes” or “No.” AGAIN: Don’t do it!
“Do NOT respond to these phony calls and texts! They’re a scam,” says Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “If you do respond, the thieves will use every opportunity to convince you they are calling from your bank and need personal information, like your account number, PIN number or even social security number. Don’t be fooled. By giving them this information, they can gain access to your financial accounts and rob you blind.”
If you have fallen victim to a phony bank text or phone call scam, please file a complaint with Oregon Department of Justice online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call 1-877-877-9392 and ask that a complaint form be mailed to you.