PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s a new scam going around that involves claiming to be a major local bank.
Scam text messages are hitting phones claiming issues with PNC Bank accounts and one cybersecurity expert was targeted by this one and immediately knew it was a scammer.READ MORE: New Push In Pennsylvania Seeks To Give Frontline Workers A Boost In Hourly Pay
“My reaction immediately was, ‘oh my god I can’t believe they’re trying to do this’,” said Albert Whale, founder of IT Security Solutions.
How did Whale know immediately that this was a fraud?
“I don’t have an account with PNC,” he said.
So, when the message came to his phone, the red flags immediately went up.
“Then I looked at the number to call, and there it was a 412 number,” he recalled.
While it was not a phone number associated with any PNC Bank branch or any part of the bank, he decided to give it a call anyway.
“Please key in your nine-digit social security number followed by the pound sign,” The automated message prompted.
“Right out of the chute, Social Security…Oh, that’s going to work,” Whale recalled.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Storm Chances Return On Friday Afternoon
Next, the automated message asked for his pin number, and finally…
“Please key in your full sixteen digits of your debit or credit card followed by the pound sign,” it said.
For a cybersecurity expert, this is more than just troubling.
“I’m sure that a lot of people get snookered into this, and they may give up more information,” Whale said.
So, how badly ripped off could a person get from this?
“They could have their whole bank account taken away,” Whale answered.
We contacted PNC about the text came and they have said they have been made aware of it.
Bottom line from PNC: Do not click on a link or use contact information contained in a suspect email or text message.
Instead, if you have questions or concerns about your account, contact the bank directly using a number known from a legitimate source or go to the PNC website.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Public Schools Looking For Solutions To Bus Driver Shortage
PNC is also asking if you have received one of these text messages to contact them via email, Abuse@PNC.com.