Howell Police Warn Residents of High Levels of Scam Activity

The Howell Police Department released the following message to residents:

We are experiencing a high volume of victims reporting incidents of “smishing”/”phishing”. The scam involves text messages from someone pretending to be from your bank or another business/company you do business with are quite common and are known as “smishing” (SMS phishing) scams. These scams aim to trick you into providing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Some common smishing scams include:

Account suspension or verification: Scammers send a text message claiming that your bank account has been suspended or requires verification. They might ask you to call a number or click a link and provide your account details or personal information.

Fraudulent activity alert: You may receive a message warning of suspicious activity on your account and asking you to call a specific number or click a link to verify transactions. The message might be designed to create a sense of urgency, pressuring you to act quickly.

Locked account: Scammers may send a text message claiming your account has been locked due to security reasons, and you need to click a link or call a number to unlock it. The link or phone call will ask for your account details and personal information.

Phony customer service: Scammers may pose as bank customer service representatives, offering assistance with a recent issue or update to your account. They might ask you to confirm your account details or provide personal information.

You may also encounter similar fraudulent texts as above claiming to be from Netflix, FedEx, Amazon, Microsoft, etc…….

It’s important to be cautious when receiving unsolicited emails or text messages, especially if they’re asking for personal information or money. Scammers often use fake or “spoofed” phone numbers and email addresses to make their messages look legitimate, so it’s always a good idea to verify the information before taking any action.

If you’re unsure about the authenticity of a message, it’s a good idea to independently look up the company’s phone number or email address on their official website or through a trusted search engine like Google. From there, you can contact the company directly to ask if the message is legitimate or report any suspicious activity.

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