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Scams... where do they get your phone number?

phishing scam iconYou might think that the scammer managed to steal phone numbers from your financial institution’s databases, but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Phone numbers can be acquired from information entered on the Internet (websites, contests, questionnaires, etc), phonebooks, and even bought by companies that earn a profit from selling lists of phone numbers to companies claiming to use text messages as a setting for advertising campaigns.

phishing scam imageThe criminals who acquire these lists will then send texts out to as many numbers as possible, hoping to get someone with an account at a particular bank or credit union. They are "phishing" for someone who may or may not have an account with a particular institution. Have you ever received a text from a financial institution that you didn’t belong to telling you that your accounts are in jeopardy? Imagine how alarming it becomes when you do belong to that financial institution.

So, what do you do if you receive a text from your financial institution warning you of that you need to contact them immediately… easy answer… go directly to the source. You can usually find a legitimate number on the banks website or in the phone book (never use the phone number or link that is in the text or email) or go to your nearest branch and let them know of the text immediately.

To learn more about how scams work click here.

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