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ALERT: “Fake” Text Message Scam
The security of our customers’ accounts is a top priority. Due to the diligence of PNC’s Fraud and Cyber Defense team, we were made aware of a scam targeting customers of a number of financial institutions, including PNC, predominately with text messages that appeared to be official bank communications. Some customers shared sensitive personal and financial information as a result.
This is called phishing - the attempt by fraudsters to steal your personal and financial information, sometimes through e-mails, mobile text messages (SMiShing) and phone calls.
We are alerting customers of the warning signs of a phishing scam and steps you can take to help protect your sensitive personal information and accounts.
Text messages and emails containing certain red flags should alert users to a possible phishing or SMiShing attack, including:
- Grammatical errors
- Offering fantastic prizes
- Creating a sense of urgency
- Requesting personally identifiable information (PII)
- Requesting User IDs and Passwords
- Threatening with consequences
- Making demands
- Do not respond to suspicious text messages; first confirm it is from a trusted source.
- Do not click links in a suspicious phish.
- Do not respond to a text message requesting personal or financial information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or other banking information.
- Do not call a phone numbers contained in a suspected phish. Go directly to a known source of information for contact information, such as the company’s legitimate website.
If you receive a suspicious text message, take precautions to avoid a phish:
Action To Help Protect Accounts
If you suspect that your personal information may have been exposed, take these important steps, then be on high alert for signs of identity theft and phishing.
- Review your financial statements and online transaction activity. If you notice unauthorized activity on your account, contact us immediately at 888-PNC-Bank (888-762-2265) or stop by your local branch. PNC customers will not be held responsible for verified unauthorized activity that is promptly reported.
- Check your credit report. You can request a free copy of your three credit reports at each of the three credit agencies once every 12 months at www.annualcreditreport.com. Consider spreading out your reviews, checking one report every four months. Make sure that all the information on your report is accurate. If there is any suspicious activity, contact the credit reporting agency.
- Place a 90-day credit alert on your file. This means the agencies will contact you any time someone attempts to acquire credit in your name. There is no charge, but it must be renewed every 90 days. Contact one of the three credit reporting agencies who will then contact the other two.
- Consider a security freeze on your credit to block inquiries. As of September 21, 2018, there is no charge to add a security/credit freeze to your account which restricts access to your credit file. However, that restriction applies to both the fraudsters and to you. So remember, when you do apply for credit, you will need to request the agency to lift the freeze temporarily in order for the creditor to access your credit report.
- Add PNC Alerts to Your Accounts. Monitor your account by setting up free PNC Alerts to be notified by email or text message regarding key activity on your PNC accounts, including:
- Receive notification of your balances and important activity.
- Know when your direct deposit has arrived.
- Get faster notification when overdrafts have occurred.
- Monitor your card transactions such as online, phone or international purchases.
Actions To Take If Phishing Email Appears To Be From PNC
If you suspect you've received a fraudulent email that appears to be from PNC, forward the message via email to PNC Abuse (email@example.com). If you suspect you’ve received a fraudulent text message that appears to be from PNC, take a screen shot of the text message on your mobile phone and forward it to PNC Abuse (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here’s How You Can Get More Information
For more information on the prevention, detection and remediation of phishing, visit the PNC Security and Privacy website.
Important Legal Disclosures and Information
1. Your wireless carrier may charge you standard text message rates.
Bank deposit products and services provided by PNC Bank, National Association. Member FDIC
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