Keeping Your Money Safe: “Card is Locked” Text Phishing Scam

Author: Stacey Ferris, Electronic Payments Manager and Keith Welch, Card Services Manager 10/29/2021

If you own a cell phone, chances are you’ve been contacted by a scammer—through an unsolicited phone call, text, or email. One of the latest phishing scams targets your text messages with the goal of gathering your debit card information. Don’t fall for it. Here’s what to look out for.

How Does the Scam Work?

In this phishing scam, fraudsters send a text message posing as your financial institution, i.e., PlainsCapital Bank. The text claims to be “urgent” and falsely says your debit card account is locked. They provide a phone number to call to “unlock the card.”

Cardholders who call the number provided reach an automated menu with a computerized voice. They are then asked to provide their personal card information—full card number, expiration date, security code on the back of the card, and their PIN. The fraudster then tells the customer they will receive a code via text message on their phone, and they are to give that code to the fraudster. By giving out this code, the fraudster now has a digital version of the customer’s debit card on their own phone.

This is a phishing scam. PlainsCapital will never call, text, or email you for your card information. The PlainsCapital Bank fraud notification system will only request a yes/no response to verify an individual transaction. Any time you receive a one-time passcode, you should never share it with another person.

You may be wondering how a fraudster might know you’re a PlainsCapital customer. Fraudsters can purchase card numbers obtained through merchant or payment processor breaches. Once they have the first 6 digits of the card number, they can quickly determine which bank this card number series belongs to. Since card breaches often don’t have enough information to perform a transaction, this is where the fraudster may try and match a customer’s name to other stolen personal information, like their phone number, to contact them to fill in the missing information needed.

In another version of this scam, fraudsters send a text message posing as a major retailer or merchant, i.e., UPS, FedEx, or Amazon. The message says a package has been delayed, or a delivery requires your verification. The message provides a link to click for verification. Never click on a link provided to you via text message or respond to one of these text messages. Always verify any delivery or package shipment on the company’s website.

 Stay Alert for Fraud Scam Behavior

  • PlainsCapital will never ask for your personal card information.
  • If someone reaches out and indicates urgency, beware.
  • If someone provides you with a phone number or link via text message or phone call, do not call that number or click on the link.
  • Ask yourself, “Would my bank ask me for this information?” PlainsCapital Bank will never ask for your card number, expiration date, PIN, or your security code. The Bank does not have your PIN and has no reason to know that number or your security code.
  • If you have shared your sensitive card data, we encourage you to close the compromised card and order a new one.

Keeping Your Money Safe

Fraudsters can be smart and organized. They prey on people of all ages and target specific age groups with specific scams. You can always feel safe calling the PlainsCapital customer service number on the back of your debit card at 888-765-1765, or you can reach Customer Service at 866-762-8392.

Keeping your money safe is as important to us as it is to you. PlainsCapital Bank’s Fraud Department provides educational resources for businesses and individuals to help detect and prevent fraud. For more information about our fraud prevention efforts, visit our fraud resources page.

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