‘Your card has been deactivated.’ Translation: Crooks pretending to be from your bank are trying to rip you off

ID-100220763With many banks offering fraud alerts for credit and debit cards, it can be easy to fall for fake versions. Watch out for automated phone calls and text messages that claim your card has been deactivated. It’s really an attempt to get you to share banking information.

How the Scam Works:

You get a text message or automated phone call claiming that your credit, debit or ATM card has been deactivated. Reactivating your card is easy. You just need to call a customer service number and confirm some information. One commonly received message reads: “Your ATM card has been put on hold. Call Customer Department now 1-205-XXX-XXXX.”

You dial the number given, and you get an on hold message. The message to instructs you to enter your 16-digit credit card number. Don’t do it. It’s a scam! Share your card information, and you will open yourself up to credit card fraud.

Spotting This Scam:

These tips will help you spot and stop scam text messages:

  • Call your bank or check out their website. Find your bank’s phone number on the back of your credit/debit card and call to confirm the status of your card. Don’t call the phone number given in the text message.
  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.
  • Forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM on most keypads). This will alert your cellphone carrier to block future texts from those numbers.
  • Be familiar with your bank’s communication methods. Did you sign up for text messages alerts? Be aware of how your bank communicates with you, because anything out of the ordinary may be a scam.


To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.