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SCAM ALERT: Text-based scam seeks your personal information

Think twice if you get a text from your bank saying your account has been locked and you need to call them with personal information to get it back on.

“They’re never going to do that, they’re going to use the US mail,” says Northeast Florida Better Business Bureau President Tom Stephens.

WOKV received a call from Terese Boas in Oceanway after her husband got a text from a number claiming to be Bank of America. It said they needed to call a certain number- which was a local number- to reactivate the account.

“Right away they asked for him to enter the number on his debit card,” she says.

That was a big red flag for the couple, who went no further in the process.

“Definitely a scam going on,” Boas says.

Stephens agrees that this is clearly a scam, but says he hasn’t received any calls about it from the Jacksonville area yet. Several weeks ago the BBB did get a call about a similar scheme that used a phone call instead of a text.

“It’s basically an attempt to get your credit card number and your personal identification information and start charging a bunch of stuff to you,” he says.

He says you should always be skeptical about a message out of nowhere demanding your personal information. When in doubt, Stephens says you should just call the bank using the number you would generally use- not any provided by the suspected scam.

Boas wanted to make sure word got out because, even if it’s not on the BBB radar yet, she believes others could easily fall for the scam.

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