IN YOUR CORNER: “Smishing” scheme targets local banking customers

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A classic scam has caught fire in Oklahoma.

In recent days, consumers have called their banks in droves, concerned their accounts have been closed.

However, experts advise that customers likely have nothing to fear.

News 4 Storm Chaser Aric Dickson got the alert just days ago.

“Got a text, said bank account was closed,” Aric explained. “Got four texts after that [which read] call an out of state number.”

His bank account had allegedly been closed, leaving Aric in a dire financial situation.

But Aric noticed something odd about his BancFirst alert.

“It’s out of state, BancFirst is an Oklahoma account. Immediately shot up a red flag on that,” he said. “It just didn’t look like something that would come from BancFirst at all.”

Aric is far from alone, and the scam is quickly spreading across Oklahoma.

State agencies say a litany of banks have been used in the scheme.

The Oklahoma Bankers Association (OBA) says no local bank has been hacked.

“The banks have never been breached, that’s the main thing people need to understand,” said Elaine Dodd, with OBA. “[Scammers] do not know where you bank, know nothing about your banking information.”

The scam is called “smishing”, or ‘SMS phishing.

Fraudsters will research a region, finding top spots in an area, and spray out threatening text messages to the area code praying they find the right customers.

Those who do call will be met by a robot hoping to pry whatever info they can.

“Think about that first, would my bank really ask me for my Social Security number, my account number, that type of info? No, they would not,” noted Elaine. “So if you give them your account number, give them anything beyond what they already have, they’re going to use that against you.”

For those who are concerned by such a text, Elaine urges everyone to call their local banking branch to confirm.

“You pick up the phone, you call the banker, that smiling face that you know,” said Elaine. “It’s good to have a relationship with your banker, they want to take care of you.”

Anyone who does fall victim is urged to change their account information ASAP.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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