Wells Fargo Scam Texts: How To Spot Them
Table of Contents
- By Greg Brown
- Apr 24, 2023
Texting has taken over the global communication space; marketers and predators are seeing huge dollar signs. Email continues to be a reliable, but somewhat fraught with problems, alternative form of communication. In fact, the average user interacts, sends, and receives 25% more texts than email, and usage is skyrocketing.
Most electronic device users have loads more unopened emails than texts. Marketers, scam artists, and predators of every type use this texting imbalance to their advantage, with email falling by the wayside as a global marketing tool. Average white-collar workers receive 121 emails daily, which means many branded messages never reach their target.
Text and messaging, which includes Facebook, WhatsApp, and others, have a much rosier picture. Unread mobile messages are less than 40%, meaning the majority of messages that go through get opened by their recipients.
Just as ambitious entrepreneurs see opportunity, so do hackers and malware code brokers. Banks and financial institutions will always attract a large number of predators and fraudsters. Every online banking customer needs to be aware of the potential for fraud.
Most older email scams continue to work on major texting platforms and third-party applications. Not only do these scams continue to work, but they are highly effective because of the new younger, naïve users.
Pew Research finds that most teens interact with text messaging by a wide margin. At 55%, text and messaging lead all other tools, with the next closest communication type at 28%. Predators have found a gold mine if their target group averages 21 years of age. Another terrifying statistic; 57% of US teens have met new friends that they interact with and trust online.
Fake invoice scams remain one of the most effective for financial crimes, if not the most effective scam in existence. These phishing templates pressure end users to submit payment and personal information for banking services. PayPal, advanced fees, and upgrade scams continue to produce considerable money for hackers.
Wells Fargo Phishing Attacks
Phishing is any fraudulent attempt to obtain a user’s personal user information, including usernames and passwords. Texting, since 1995, has skyrocketed in user growth and, for years, has been more popular than email. The 13 to 19 age group is the perfect target for banks, credit card companies, and predators.
Hackers are now more adept at creating or stealing large lists of Wells Fargo consumers. Lists are created by stealing mistaken identity login attempts, mistaken form fills, and simply buying a list on the dark web.
From time to time, Wells Fargo may send large email blasts to its member's warning of unusual activity on the account. The bank categorically states it will never ask for your pin or login information, instead only sending you a temporary access code to verify identity, such as through the bank’s Zelle money transfer app.
Unrecognized text messages will arrive in your app unannounced with no corresponding backup data. Messages will impersonate the company or a section of the bank, such as mortgages or checking. Messages will also typically impersonate an executive of the company, the head of a charity, or a government official.
Any information unwittingly provided is used for identity theft or stealing money.
- Any communication from the criminal will have a strong sense of urgency to perform a task immediately. Account change requests may include confirming your identity or updating account details. Predators may request unlocking only portions of your account to make changes, or there will likely be a simple link to click, sending you to a phishing site.
- A bank imposter may call and say there is suspicious activity on the account, and there must be verification by entering personal information into a text message. Criminals may disguise the caller ID by using spoofing technology.
- Are you receiving messages from suspicious senders, unknown phone numbers, or odd-looking Wells Fargo short codes? Members should enroll in the service of Text Banking. This service lets users find balances using a 5-digit short code. Never respond to unfamiliar texts or senders you do not recognize. Create multiple short codes, so you know what a valid text looks like.
- If the payout is large enough, Wells Fargo members may receive unexpected phone calls impersonating an executive they have never spoken to. These so-called executives may ask for PINs or passwords. Hang up immediately and contact Wells Fargo at 1-866-867-5568.
- Bad message formatting and content should always be a dead giveaway to a fake message. Most users can tell if a message seems off, like the logo is not where it is supposed to be or sentences and paragraphs are longer than normal.
Email phishing attacks and now texting assaults will continue to plague all of us who are not prepared or just unwitting. Online banking has been one of the most significant advancements for consumers who want to be in control of their money.
Hackers and predators always have a few tricks up their sleeves to fool the unprepared. However, what is frustrating about a phishing attack is everyone knows it’s coming but is always caught up in the scam.
Phishing attacks are always the same in their foundation, changing only superficially. Attackers, with each attack, keep looking for new ways to bypass security. If, for some reason, you decide to send money to a scammer, you will never see it again.
Online scammers are excellent at pressuring unwitting consumers, and it is always a numbers game. The more phishing emails sent means a certain percentage of return back for the hackers. Criminals pressure users into sending money by wire transfer and digital payment apps like Venmo and CashApp. Gift and prepaid cards are always popular with scammers, along with fake checks and online deposits.
Wells Fargo offers its customers considerable resources to combat fraud and scams. The banking behemoth clearly outlines its online policies and how it interacts with its clients. Consumers must know the bank’s policies and avoid opening suspicious texts or emails.
Wells Fargo support gives its clients the top 5 trending scams:
- Bank Impostor
- Fake Check Scams
- Tech Support
- Real Estate Wire Scams
- IRS Tax Scam
Always be prepared for financial predators. Every online criminal goes after the unwitting online banking consumer, knowing there is potential for big money. However, technology is changing, and so are attitudes toward staying safe online.