AARP Eye Center
AARP Connecticut is joining with the Departments of Banking, Consumer Protection, and Aging, as well as the Better Business Bureau and others to warn Connecticut residents about a new text scam targeting customers of Webster Bank, N.A. According to State Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez, the fraudulent text appears to be a genuine notice from Webster Bank indicating that they are currently performing maintenance of their system and asking the recipient to click on a link to renew personal details. While this particular text targets Webster customers, other text scams have targeted many other banks and businesses.
“This is a cautionary tale,” said Commissioner Perez, “a reminder to be especially vigilant as we head into the busiest season of the year when we are bombarded by emails, text and telephone calls. Always remember to safeguard your most sensitive personal and financial information, whether communicating over the telephone, online or even at your front door.”
"Never give anyone your personal information unless you do your homework and are as certain as possible that it's legitimate,” said Commissioner Jonathan Harris of the Department of Consumer Protection. “If you receive a text, reach out to the bank or business to verify that it's not a scam. Visit the bank or call directly before you provide any info or make a payment."
Banks or other financial institutions do not ask their customers to provide personal account information by text or e-mail. If you are a Webster customer and have received a text requesting that you click a link to renew personal details regarding your account, it is a scam. Delete it. Do not reply. Do not click on the link provided. And most important, do not supply your personal information.
The growth of electronic communications and social media continues to provide new ways for scammers to reach their targets. Connecticut consumers should stay vigilant when receiving electronic business communications. The high-tech scammer sends highly accurate emails or texts that contain links to what appear to be genuine websites, but instead are fraudulent sites that will steal personal information. Rather than click the link, open the website you know is real or call the financial institution directly.
“Unfortunately, the holiday season is one of the busiest times for scammers,” said AARP Fraud Watch Volunteer Byron Peterson. “Each year ID theft and fraud steal millions of hard-earned dollars from unsuspecting residents.”
Any consumers who did click the link should contact Webster Bank immediately at 1-800-325-2424 and speak to a representative for assistance. You may also report the scam to the Department of Banking, by calling 1-800-831-7225.
In Connecticut, AARP works in collaboration with the Departments of Banking, Consumer Protection and Aging, the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut and more than 20 state agencies, law enforcement, and community organizations that are members of the Coalition for Elder Justice in Connecticut to educate the public and prevent consumer fraud. Get tips and information to avoid common scams and sign up for free fraud alerts at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork.