Skip to Content

Protecting Yourself from Text Phishing Scams: A Guide to Safeguarding Your Finances

  • Posted on February 13, 2024

Recently, there has been a surge in text phishing scams that seem to come from legitimate fraud prevention centers. They can be very convincing, but there are still several red flags you can watch for to protect your money and keep yourself from falling for it—and other scams like it. 

The Details 

Picture this scenario: You receive a text message seemingly from your bank’s fraud prevention center. The message alerts you to a suspicious transaction and asks if you’ve authorized it, providing details like the location and amount of the charge. If you respond with “No,” the fraudster calls you immediately and requests that you share sensitive information to verify yourself such as your debit card details, expiration date, CVC security code, PIN, or even your digital banking login credentials.

This scam is clever in the way it instills a false sense of urgency and legitimacy. However, it’s crucial to remember that no legitimate financial institution would ever request such sensitive information via text message or phone call.


How to Protect Yourself

  1. Stay Informed: Education is your first line of defense. Familiarize yourself with common text phishing scams and the red flags you should watch out for. Remember, genuine financial institutions will never ask for your PIN, debit card information, secure access code, or online banking credentials via unsolicited messages or calls. 
  2. Exercise Caution: When in doubt, verify. If you receive a suspicious message or call, refrain from divulging any personal or financial information. Instead, independently contact your bank using trusted contact details from official sources, such as the back of your debit card or the bank’s official website. A few moments of precaution can save you from a world of financial harm.
  3. Be Vigilant: One unfortunate reality of the digital world we live in is that data breaches can occur anywhere you input your information—particularly at less secure online retailers. Be mindful of where and how you share your personal data. Regularly monitor your bank statements for any unauthorized transactions and promptly report any suspicious activity to your financial institution. 


What to Do if You’ve Been Scammed

Text phishing scams are not unique to any specific bank or institution. Scammers will use the information they have to try and trick anyone they can. If you think you’ve fallen for a scam, don’t panic. There are a few steps you can take immediately:

  1. Change your username and password.
  2. Contact your bank (If you bank with United, call 1-800-UCBANK1).
  3. If you’ve lost money, file a police report. 
  4. Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

At United, your security is our top priority. We’re here to help keep your money safe, and by watching out for common scams like this one, you can significantly lessen your risk of fraud. 

For more common scams and tips from our security experts, visit our Fraud Prevention page.


External Link Disclaimer

You are leaving United Community and being directed to a third-party site that is not maintained, owned or operated by United Community Bank. United Community does not control and is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of the third-party. By clicking “Accept,” you are requesting to be transferred to the third-party website. If you do not want to visit the page, you can close this page by clicking "Return To Site”.