Action13

Text scam warning for credit card users

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Your cell phone is the latest target in a wide-ranging scam designed to get your credit card number. Scammers are sending out text messages claiming to be from banks looking to trick people into providing financial information.

The messages are hitting cell phones across the country. They often come in late at night and claim to be from a bank, but really it's just part of huge scam.

If you have a cell phone, there is a good chance you or someone you know has gotten a scam text message. The message commonly going out now claims to be from Bank of America. The text often comes into your cell phone at night and tells people to call a number.

After getting a late night text, Rita Torres' husband called the number and got an automated operator. He then called Bank of America's published 800 number.

Rita explained, "He calls Bank of America, getting this text message and they said the number is not affiliated with us and just be cautious."

Some who have called the text message number report hearing an automated operator that repeats back the first portion of a person's credit card and asks the victim to enter in the full number. But it turns out bank credit cards often share the same first few numbers.

Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau says if consumers do not know that, they could be fooled into providing the rest of the card numbers.

"They know that a lot of people do not realize that they share the first several digits of their cards with thousands of others out there, so they think the call is specifically geared towards them," Russo explained.

It turns out the text messages are bombarding the nation. Cloudmark.com, which monitors text scams, says it has seen a 913 percent increase in the text message scam since the start of September.

Russo said, "I think we will see more of this in the future."

You can report the text scam to your carrier or to the Federal Trade Commission. You can forward scam text Messages to 7726, or file a complaint online.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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