How to Avoid Text Scams

a woman checks her phone to delete a scam text message

In today’s digital landscape, our smartphones hold the keys to many aspects of our lives. But watch out! Scammers are using phishing text messages to break into bank accounts, leaving your hard-earned cash high and dry. These messages are designed to trick you into revealing personal info, like passwords, PINS, or even your social security number.

But we’re here to help! Keeping your information safe is relatively straightforward. In honor of Cybersecurity Month, we’ll teach you how to stay protected from these scams.

Think first:

The first step is simple – slow down! Scammers rely on your confusion and panic because they want you to act quickly. But before you hit that button, give it some thought. Real banks will never play high-pressure games or try to rush your decisions.

Watch out for shady links:

Phishing texts often contain links that lead to fake login pages, aiming to capture your credentials. Never—and we mean never—tap on those links. If a text message makes you feel uneasy about your account’s safety, manually enter your bank's website into your browser or use their official mobile app to access your account.

Never Share Personal Information:

Your bank will never ask for sensitive information like your PIN, password, or any unique login codes through a text message. If you ever receive texts that request this type of information, it’s 100% a scam!

Delete the Message:

Let’s face it, accidents happen. But you don’t want to respond to a scammer’s text by mistake! So do yourself a favor and delete that message. Don't stash or save it – that's a digital landmine. Take a screenshot if you would like to report it, then delete the message from your phone.

What to do if you fall for a text scam:

But what if you slip up? Here’s what you should do:

  1. Change Your Password: Did you click on a link and enter your login credentials to a fake site? Change your password immediately.

  1. Contact Your Bank: Ring up your bank and let them know what happened. They can help you secure your account and prevent any unauthorized transactions.

  1. File a Police Report: Did you lose money from the scam? Filing a police report will help with the investigation.

  1. Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Report the phishing scam to the FTC online or by calling them at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

By following these simple steps and keeping your guard up, you can protect yourself (and your money) from phishing text messages. Staying aware and taking action is the best way to stay safe in the digital world.

Does your bank keep your account safe?

Academy Bank prioritizes your financial security. In fact, our Select Rewards Checking Accounts have safeguards to help combat phishing scams, including:

  • Identity theft reimbursement coverage (See Insurance Disclosure)
  • Comprehensive identity theft resolution services
  • Credit file monitoring
  • Credit report and score
  • Identity monitoring
  • Dark web monitoring

Read more smart cybersecurity practices in the Education section of our website (under “Banking Safely and Securely”), or learn about other types of phishing attempts like phone call scams in our blog.

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INSURANCE DISCLOSURE: Insurance products are NOT insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; NOT a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate. Coverage is provided through the company named in the Guide to Benefit or on the certificate of insurance.