Friday, January 09, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Cell Phone Con

As part of my job on 101QFL, I check out internet rumors as "Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop." Here's the latest:

The Case of the Cell Phone Con

Are instances being reported, here in the stateline area and across the nation, of cell phone users getting text messages asking them to contact a number with their banking and other personal information?

Yes. CyberSnoop didn’t even really need to check this out on Snopes or TruthOrFiction. It happened to quite a few of our listeners and to me personally!

In my case, both my husband and I received text messages on our cell phones, claming that our bank account was being terminated due to “unusual activity.” In both cases, we were urged to call a provided number…one of the messages came right out and said “to verify bank information.”

The bottom line? Unless YOU initiated a phone call with a trusted institution, do NOT give out those numbers. You could end up with a drained bank account.

I talked with Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Chief Dominic Iasparro about giving out personal numbers. Listen to his comment here.

If you’ve already given out such information to strangers who contacted you, you should call your local police department and your bank—-and make sure it’s your bank’s legitimate number, by the way.

And if you get a message like that again…whether it claims to be from your bank or any other institution…and whether it arrives via e-mail, phone call, Facebook or MySpace or text message, DO NOT give out those numbers. Be on the safe side and delete.

Confirming another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “send” button!


Ann-Marie said...

Thanks for the great tip, Cindy!

Randy Spradlin said...


Thanks for that post. Although I haven't had that particular thing happen to me, I have been baited by online emails. Unfortunately (and I know better) I fell for one of them and they got my card number! I had to immediately cancel my bank card and get another one. The good news is that I stopped the problem in time before someone in the UK tried to drain some of my checking!

I love the net, but with any good thing just like cellular service, we have to watch out for that bad.

Thanks for a great post!


SmilingSally said...

Makes me glad that I'm so out of it that I don't text!

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