Given the recent rise in scam texts and phishing, it’s important to know what to look for in case you too receive a suspicious text from an institution like Wells Fargo that could be a scam.
While Wells Fargo is a leading financial institution that is doing everything it can to protect its customers, scammers can be so convincing that anyone can fall for their deception.
Read on to make sure you never fall victim to a text scam claiming to be Wells Fargo, or any other trusted institution.
Understand spam texts and their methods
While many spam texts are simply unwanted marketing messages, there are others that might easily lead you to becoming a victim of fraud.
Spam texts are an easy method for scammers to find out your personal information, like your name, your address, or your social security number.
Scammers make spam texts look as convincing as possible. For instance, they can conceal their identity with “Sender IDs,” such as a bank, like Wells Fargo.
The most common spam texts you’ll receive, particularly from scammers posing as financial institutions, might include one or more of the following details:
- “Verify your details” – This is a message from a “bank” that says your account has been frozen until you verify your details.
- “Billing information is ready” – A message that informs you that your online billing information is ready to view “after clicking the link.”
- “IRS notification” – This message claims to be from the “IRS” about your recent taxes that asks you to verify your information.
- “You’ve won a prize” – Spam texts that claim you’ve won money or a prize and advise you to “follow a link” to claim it.
While these are common elements of many scam texts, these scam messages can use many tricks that scammers use to try to get you to give them your information.
Others you may receive can also include messages pertaining to attempted deliveries to your home address or information regarding online purchase refunds.
Learn to spot a text scam from institutions like Wells Fargo
A recent text scam claiming to be from Wells Fargo asked recipients to verify a recent payment. The “payment” was fake, and many customers were tricked out of thousands of dollars.
It’s important that you know the tell-tale signs to spot a text scam posing as a trusted institution so that you don’t give away any personally identifiable information (PII) to a scammer.
Here are a few of the several signs that you might be dealing with a text scammer:
- Urgency – If the text suggests a “time limit,” it could be a scammer trying to convince you to give up personal information without having a chance to think it through.
- Spelling errors – Any typos in a message suggest you’re dealing with a scammer. It’s unlikely that major institutions like Wells Fargo would misspell messaging.
- Unusual links – Always avoid accessing any suspicious links that are sent to you via text message. Often, these may lead to malicious websites.
- Suspicious senders – Although scammers set up Sender IDs, any number that looks suspicious should be ignored. Save trusted phone numbers to your contact list so you always know who you’re talking to.
What Wells Fargo is doing about text scams
Wells Fargo is working hard to protect its customers from fraudulent text messages sent by scammers claiming to be them, as well as spam texts in general.
On the website, Wells Fargo provides detailed information on how to spot and report spam texts, as well as useful insights about the types of messages scammers are using.
How to report a spam text to Wells Fargo
If you’ve received a suspicious spam text that looks like it’s from Wells Fargo but you’re not sure, you should report it immediately.
- If you’ve clicked on any links or shared any personal information, call the Wells Fargo fraud team immediately at 1-866-867-5568.
- If you wish to report a spam text, forward the message to email@example.com, then delete it. The Wells Fargo team will review the information.
- You can report the message by forwarding its contents to 7726 (SPAM), then delete it.
How to prevent suspicious texts from Wells Fargo
To protect yourself further, activate spam protection services on your cell phone. Both iPhone and Android users can quickly access these services through their settings.
- For iPhone users, go to Settings > Messages > Filter Unknown Senders.
- Android users can go to Settings > Spam Protection > Enable Spam Protection.
All major cell service providers offer a built-in app that can manage and monitor spam texts or calls you might receive. These different options from providers include:
- T-Mobile’s Scam Shield: a free service for all customers
- AT&T’s Call Protect: paid and free plans that detect scam texts and calls
- Sprint’s Call Screener: a service now available free of charge to all customers
- Verizon’s Call Filter: free and premium option available to all customers
What else to do to stop spam texts as a Wells Fargo customer
Take an additional step toward total security by downloading a third-party app specifically designed to stop spam texts and calls.
Many reputable developers offer services that can help limit the amount of spam you receive. These services usually offer a free option as well as premium services you pay for.
- RoboKiller – claims to eliminate 99% of robocalls and robotexts
- VeroSMS – blocks texts that include specific keywords which you have blacklisted
- NomoRobo – blocks spam and filters unwanted texts
Also, read our guide on how to stop spam texts for a full rundown of all your available options.
Why you’re getting spam texts in the first place
To put it simply, you receive a spam text because someone has gained access to your phone number.
There are a few ways this may have happened. For instance, when you sign up for something online, it could provide consent to share your personal information with third parties.
But if you receive an influx of spam, junk mail, robo-calls, or spam texts, it could be the case that your information is being shared by data brokers.
There are hundreds of data brokers in the U.S. that legally collect your personal information and sell it forward to marketers, and sometimes even just to the highest bidder.
Oftentimes, this information can easily fall into the hands of scammers and fraudsters as well, putting you at a great risk to be the victim of email, text, or phone scams.
What to do to address the spam problem at its source
The best way to secure your online information, and reduce the amount of spam texts and junk mail you receive, is to remove your information from all data-broker sites.
Many individuals who take on this extensive and tedious opt-out process ultimately seek out the help of professional data-broker removal services like DeleteMe to do it for them.
For as little as $10.75 a month, DeleteMe opts you out of data-broker sites and continues to monitor the security of your information every few months.
When you sign up for our service, you’ll likely see a reduction in the amount of spam you receive almost immediately, and potential scams as a result.
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