East Texans losing thousands to text messaging scheme

East Texans losing thousands to text messaging scheme
KTRE Staff
KTRE Staff

EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - East Texans have lost thousands of dollars by giving banking information after receiving a text.

It's a text message hundreds of East Texans have been getting on their phones. The message prompts you to call a number in regards to your Commercial Bank of Texas account, but it's a scheme used to get between you and your money. Some have fallen victim to it.

The text messaging scheme is really getting popular especially since texts are immediate and get quick responses.

You've probably seen the emails or have gotten the strange phone calls.  "Smishing" is what it's called. It's the latest way schemers are trying to get into your pockets and get in on your paydays.

"The next evolution of that is well 'We'll send you a text message.' People trust their phones and their text messages," said Tim Leonard, Chief Information Officer of Commercial Bank of Texas.

Leonard said the issue is nationwide. Hackers are using not only banks but credit unions, financial advisers, and anything dealing with your dollars.  This issue is not linked to the banks security, as people who don't bank with Commercial are receiving the messages, too.

"They don't know really who's behind it. They think there are organizations in Nigeria, India, the Ukraine, Russia, and China," Leonard said.

The text asks you to call the number, then prompts you to enter your account information.

"The bad guys have gotten a hold of marketing data which can have many pieces of information on any of us," Leonard said.

Leonard said your social media posts could make you more susceptible.

"Everything you are posting and doing is getting collected by data warehouses," Leonard said.

According to Lufkin Police Reports, East Texans have fallen victim and lost cash after providing information. In one case, the victim lost $400 and another lost $1,700.

Leonard said banks use text messaging, but the customer initiates it. The scheme text messages are going out to phones randomly. 
Leonard said your bank will never contact you and ask for your personal information, and that you should never give that information.

Commercial bank is working with Secret Services to get these numbers shut down.

Leonard said if you responded to this text and gave your info, you need to contact your bank as soon as possible to get it sorted out.

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