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Mobile Banking / Text Message Alert Scams
With technology advancing at such a rapid pace, scammers have had to develop new and innovative ways of getting you away from your money. Cell phones are now becoming an easily manipulated medium in various scams.
Certain large bank chains have begun offering programs known as Mobile Banking – sending you text message alerts to your cell phone notifying you of when your deposits become available, if you overdraw your account or other events that you set up with your bank.
Scammers now send out text messages claiming that there is a problem with some aspect of your account – the account has been compromised, your debit card has been compromised or deactivated, and you are urged to call their customer service line immediately to resolve the problem at the number they provide.
Once you call to find out what the problem is, they will try to get as much information from you as they possibly can – social security number, account numbers, debit or credit card numbers and security key numbers from the back of the cards. They will then use that information to either steal your identity or your money, leaving you the victim of a very advanced scheme.
The most important thing to remember is that Liberty Bank does not offer Mobile Banking – in fact, in the St. Louis area, only a few financial institutions do offer Mobile Banking (Bank of America, Commerce Bank, Eagle Bank and Trust and a few others). It is a service that you must sign up for directly with your bank (some banks might charge a fee for the service) so you won't begin receiving text messages from a bank unless you specifically tell them that you want them.
But the most important thing to remember is that, should you receive a legitimate text message alert from a bank, it will NOT ask you to call anyone or to verify ANY personal information. Remember – if your bank is trying to get in touch with you, they already have your information! The only reason a bank would want to verify your personal information is if you are calling them, so that they can make sure they're really talking to you and don't give out your information when they shouldn't.
If you ever get a text message from a bank claiming that there is a problem, pay close attention to the name of the bank sending the alert. Most of the time, the name of the bank will belong to an institution that is not in the local area or that you do not have an account with. Of course, the best thing to do is to disregard any message you receive and delete it, especially if it urges you to take action to resolve a problem. Of course, should you want to verify its authenticity before disregarding it, we encourage you to call your bank to determine if they had sent any messages and they will be able to tell you right away if it is a scam or a legitimate alert.
Should you have any other questions or concerns, you are also encouraged to call anyone at Liberty Bank and we will be happy to assist you.