With more aspects of our daily lives moving online to our personal digital devices, the Bossier Financial Crimes Task Force is warning residents about text scams recently reported in Bossier Parish. The Task Force has received reports over the last two days of phishing attempts involving texts that appear to be from local financial institutions.
Some of the bogus text messages appear to be from the recipients’ bank and may even include some of the numbers from their bank card account. The fake text messages request that the card holder call a phone number and then may ask for the PIN to the bank card or other personal information such as a social security number. Detectives remind the public that a financial institution would never contact a customer and ask for that information. If you are unsure of whether a text message is fake, contact the bank directly, NOT through the number in a suspicious text.
Another type of scam text messages is disguised as delivery notifications from companies such as Amazon and FedEx but have bogus website links attached. When clicked, some bogus links may automatically download malware, software that allows others access to your phone’s information, including personal data. Other scam links may take you to a customer satisfaction survey promising a free gift for completing the survey.
The catch is that the site asks for a credit card number in order to receive the free item and then makes unauthorized charges to your card. Detectives remind the public to never click on unfamiliar links. Block the sender if you can. If you are unsure of whether a text message is fake, contact the online store directly through their home page, NOT through a suspicious link.
Phishing is a common practice in which criminals attempt to get personal information from a person by posing as a legitimate entity over the phone or by email. Smishing is doing so through short messaging service (SMS) or texts. The personal information could potentially be used to steal from that person.