There is this new scam that has been going all around the country and officials from New York are warning residents of the Empire State to watch out because the next potential victim could be you or me.

According to a report from WKBW-TV, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued an alert to New Yorkers about a bank fraud phishing scam that is targeting people via their cell phone.

Phishing is a scam text message that is designed to trick people into sending money or providing personal information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, and Social Security numbers to unauthorized individuals who hijack their information and use it to commit identity theft.

According to officials, the way the scam works is that you get a text message that is supposedly from your bank. Those messages say that there has been some sort of unusual activity in your bank account and directs you to click a link to confirm if the activity is accurate or not.

If you click the link, you're directed to a website that might look a lot like your normal bank website and they ask you to enter your banking information. If you do enter your info, the scammers now have access to your banking information.

You have to be very careful, I recently received one of these scam text messages and they seem pretty sophisticated. Luckily I don't have an account with the bank the scam was pretending to be, so I immediately recognized that it was a scam.

Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media
Ed Nice Jackson / Townsquare Media

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published some tips you can take to avoid phishing scams like these:

  • Watch out for misspelled words, banks are pretty good at spelling things right, however, it seems scammers are not.
  • Think before your click on any links. Ask yourself, would my bank send me a link like this?
  • Don't respond to the message. Even writing "STOP" will let the scammers know your number is real and they may share it with other scammers which would make the problem even worse.
  • Also don't share any personal or confidential information like credit card or account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, etc. Your bank will never ask for these things via a text message.

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