Credit Infocenter

Beware of Bogus Texts About Locked Debit Cards

December 21st, 2011 · 1 Comment · Identity Theft

by Kristy Welsh

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2017)

Most of us are accustomed to banks using text messages to alert us of potential fraud. That’s why it’s essential we all be aware that sometimes the fraudulent activity is the text message itself.

As a number of bank customers learned in Chicago last weekend, scammers are sending out texts saying the recipient’s debit card has been locked because they suspect someone else is using their card. In order to unlocked it, the text message recipient is instructed to call a number provided within the text. And this brings me to identity theft 101.

Only contact a bank (or credit card company) using the phone number printed on the back of the card itself (credit cards included). If and when you receive a text message such as this, forward it to your bank’s security department so that they can become aware of the problem.

And just in case you’re not sure whether the text is legit or not, call your bank immediately. If it is real, as was the case with my friend, your card will be locked and you won’t be able to use it without going through a series of steps that proved quite the inconvenience on our trip. That said, it’s better to err on the side of caution, and hold off on any response at all until you are certain you are speaking to a bank employee. It’s preferable to beĀ inconvenienced by a locked debt card on vacation than calling and giving a scammer personal information used to drain your back account.

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One Comment so far ↓

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