Scammers have stepped up their game once again and have unleashed a new scam that has wiped out bank accounts nationwide.

If you thought the latest USPS smishing scam was scary, wait until you hear about this new scheme.

Now armed with the power of artificial intelligence, scammers are able to craft hyper realistic messages that people believe are actually from their bank. These messages are said to be extremely believable and a number of Americans have already lost millions because of that.

Dangerous New Text Scam in New York


According to CNET, scammers are using artificial intelligence to trick even more Americans. Criminals are posing as official bank branches and using AI to compose seemingly plausible messages that mirror the way these companies communicate with customers.

They will relay what may appear to be a legitimate message, such as a warning of suspicious account activity, and will request their target click a link to verify their identity.

That link will bring the user to a seemingly legitimate website from their bank and it will prompt the person to enter their personal information, including the account number, to resolve the matter.

This scam has helped criminals harvest nearly $19 million in stolen funds last year.

Red Flags to Watch out For

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New York Attorney General Letitia James has since updated her Stop Mobile Spam website to warn residents of all the red flags of a smishing scam.

James explained SMS scams are so prevalent because they "are more direct and have weaker spam filters."

She says the best way to avoid being targeted is to remove all traces of your cellphone number from public websites, such as online forums or social media. Should you receive a suspicious text, do not respond to it because that lets the scammer know the number is active.

James encourages all residents to research the text to see if it comes up under any scam reports. Regardless, she says the best thing to do is to delete the message, block the sender, and report the message to your carrier.

The Better Business Bureau also has a guide on how to spot a smishing scam can be as easy as looking into the sender's actual identity. If the message came from a 10-digit number or an email address, chances are it is not legitimate.

Here's an example of a less-convincing message that was sent to me recently:

TSQ/Megan Stone WIBX
TSQ/Megan Stone WIBX

I could tell it was a scam because it did not identify my bank and its composition was horrendous. Banks will always use proper punctuation and grammar.

Authorities say banks will never ask the consumer to provide sensitive information via text, nor will they include links that need to be clicked.

If you click the link, check the web address to see who owns it. If it doesn't match your bank's usual URL, exit the browser immediately. It is also advised to run a malware scan on your phone to make sure the link didn't install anything malicious onto your phone.

If you are worried about the text and want to confirm the message, you can simply call the number on the back of your debit or credit card to speak with a representative.

What's a Legitimate Bank Text?

Credit - Canva
Credit - Canva

Banks have the capability of texting their customers, but do you know what the strict guidelines are?

Banks can absolutely send text messages as a way to protect accounts and share quick alerts to their customers. Some have also opted in to receive authentication texts from their bank as an added layer of protection.

These messages are sent when a person tries logging into their account. A code will be texted to their cell, and the person will be prompted to enter it onto the website to verify their identity.

A bank will never contact a customer and request the verification code. That's a scammer that is actively trying to get into your account. In that case, immediately notify your bank and change the login information.

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