Text message scams resurface

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Scammers never rest, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for the methods these people potentially use.

There are reports that an old scam where people receive texts from the State Employee’s Credit Union (SECU) asking for personal information is happening again, although these reports have not yet been verified.

According to an archived report from ABC11 Eyewitness News, SECU customers received a text message on their phones warning them of suspicious activity on their account and giving them a number to call to verify their online information. That phone number connected customers to a scammer instead.

Newer scams may inform the customer of ‘fraudulent activity on your debit card’ and provide a website to visit along with a phone number.

All of these scams will make it seem like the information is urgently needed.

Whether this is an active threat or not, it’s vital to learn how to recognize these scams and what to do to protect yourself.

The SECU website provides some advice to help customers keep their personal information safe, and stresses that they will never send a text or email asking for personal financial information.

If you receive a suspicious text message from SECU, do not reply to the message at all. Send the message to notifyus@ncsecu.org and then delete the text. You can also notify the SECU Contact Center at 888-732-8562 or 919-857-2150.

The bank’s website also suggests placing your number on the national Do Not Call registry and avoiding listing your number publically online.

Other tips from SECU to protect yourself include changing your password often, always logging off when your online session is over, not signing in from a public computer, never sharing personal information on the phone, and regularly reviewing financial statements for fraudulent activity.

It’s also important to be aware that scammers can impersonate any bank or even pretend to represent the IRS. Always be cautious when receiving texts and calls from unknown people.