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Phone Text Message Credit Card Phishing Scam

Outline
"Mobile banking alert" sent via phone text message claims that the recipient's debit card has been blocked. The message instructs the recipient to go to a "personal link" to unblock the card.

SMS Card Phishing

© Depositphotos.com/ Lisa F. Young



Brief Analysis
The text message is a phishing scam designed to steal personal and financial data.

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Example
Mobile Banking Alerts: Your debit card has been blocked. To unblock your card please go to your personal link [Link Removed]

Detailed Analysis
People have reported receiving the above "mobile banking alert" text message, which claims that their debit card has been blocked. The message includes a "personal link" which it claims users should access to unlock their cards.

However, the message is a phishing scam. Those who follow the link as instructed will be taken to a bogus website and asked to click a button corresponding to their credit card provider:



SMS Card Phishing

Clicking either of the buttons takes users to a second fake webpage that asks them to provide a large amount of personal and financial information:

SMS Card Phishing

All of the information entered can be collected by criminals and used to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

This is a quite typical phishing scam except that it uses text messaging rather than the more traditional vector of email to reach potential victims. Criminals realize that more and more people are using smart phones to perform more and more everyday tasks, including financial transactions. And banks are increasingly using text messages - such as when they send temporary passwords designed to make transactions more secure - to communicate with customers.

And, other types of online fraud attempts such as advance fee lottery scams are increasingly delivered via text message.

In fact, scammers will use any means available to them to reach potential victims and are quick to adapt their methods to new technologies as they emerge and gain popularity.

Regardless of how a message reaches you, be wary of any claim that there is a problem with your online account that must be rectified by following a link or opening an attached file.

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Last updated: September 26, 2013
First published: September 26, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Phishing Scams - Anti-Phishing Information
Phone Text Message Lottery Scams