Did You Receive a Debit Card Scam Text Message? Do This!
Among the many phishing text messages out there, there’s one that’s particularly vicious and has taken thousands of dollars from users’ accounts in the US: fake bank fraud alerts. The debit card scam text message is probably the most common example of this type of message. In this article, we’ll explore it in detail and provide some answers on what to do if you ever receive one of them.
Trumpia is a texting software provider with more than 15 years in the SMS marketing industry. We have a solid reputation and a zero tolerance policy against spam and fraudulent text messages. Any account found to be using our software for spam is suspended immediately and without notice. Please note that this article is not meant to provide legal advice.
What is a Card Scam Text Message? How Does it Work?
The debit card scam text message is a type of phishing scam text message in which fraudsters pose as your financial institution. In these messages, the ‘bank’ falsely claims that your debit card account is locked. They usually use terms like ‘urgent’ and similar to catch your attention. It’s also common that these messages provide a phone number in order to ‘unlock’ your account.
Once the victim calls that number, an automated menu with a computerized voice asks them to provide personal information: full card number, expiration date, security code, and PIN number. Then, the system tells the card holder they will receive a text message with a code; which they need to give to the fraudster. Once they do that, a digital version of the victim’s debit card is created.
Sometimes, instead of an automated menu with a computerized voice, you’ll receive a text message saying someone will call you on the phone. In that call, the fraudster portraying as a bank representative may ask you for your full debit card number and additional sensitive information.
Another variant of the debit card scam text message is the one that claims that your account has been compromised; or that your password has expired. In both cases you’ll receive a link to click to confirm your identity or reset your password. Of course, none of that will happen, and the scammers will get a way to your money.
How Do Scammers Know About My Bank Account?
If you wonder why fraudsters know that you have an account at a specific financial institution, there’s an answer for that.
Scammers purchase card numbers that can be obtained through merchant or payment processor breaches. They can determine the name of the bank with the first 6 digits of each card’s number. Once they find out what bank the card belongs to, the fraudsters can try to match that information with another personal data; like your phone number.
When you receive a call or a text and respond to them, they have a chance to get all the rest of the information they need to do the scam.
What Can I Do if I Receive These Messages?
The first thing you need to know is that banks or credit unions will never call, email or text you asking for your credit card information. It’s also very unlikely that any representative will push you with urgent or aggressive language. That’s something scammers do in their calls in order to scare you to act quickly and do what they say.
If you receive a debit card scam text message, you should take these precautions:
- Don’t respond to the SMS text message or call: they can confirm that you are the card owner.
- Call the bank or credit union directly to confirm that everything’s alright with your account.
- Don’t click the links or call the numbers shared on any potential scam message.
- Don’t share personal information like debit card number, account details, or online banking credentials when you reply to an incoming text message, phone, or email.
- The same applies to date of birth, PIN, Social Security number, and any other sensitive information.
- If by any chance you clicked on the link or took the phone call and shared sensitive information, you can close the compromised card and order a new one.
Read more about this in our article What Happens if You Open a Scam Text Message?