Officials warn of text message scam - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Officials warn of text message scam

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) -   When Lisa Garey received a text message claiming to be from Methodist Healthcare Federal Credit Union, it seemed like a legit message.
"I had just taken my son to the doctor last week, and this was a feasible text," Garey said Wednesday.

When she called the number in the text message, she heard a message that said, "National Bank Security Department. Please follow the next steps to verify your account information."

The recorded message went on to ask the caller to enter the 16 digit number of a credit or debit card, followed by the pound key.  When Garey heard that, she knew something wasn't right.

Garey logged on to Methodist Healthcare's website, where her fears were confirmed - it was text message scam.

Randy Hutchinson, President of the Mid-South Better Business Bureau, says what makes this phishing scheme dangerous is it's coming to people on their cell phones.
"It's the latest technological evolution of what we call phishing," he said. "Historically, people have gotten them by email - by phone.  Now, they're coming by text messages."

The number on the text message is now shut down.  A recorded message says it may be involved in a scam, saying it may be a phishing.

Investigators are still trying to determine the source of the text messages, and how that person or group was able to obtain so many cell phone numbers.

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