What to Do If You Get a Phishing Text

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Don't take the bait.

You’re alerted to a new text, and an urgent warning from your bank or credit card pops up on your screen. “Your account has been locked! Click here to resolve the issue immediately!"

Take another look. It could be a phishing attack, designed to trick or scare you into revealing private information or installing dangerous software on your device.

Citadel takes protecting your confidential information seriously and will never ask for your personal information via email or text message. Do not respond to these messages, click on links, or download attachments. As a reminder, Citadel will never call or text you to ask for account numbers, social security numbers, or addresses. Please report any phishing attempts to Citadel Member Care at (800) 666-0191.

What to do if you get a phishing text

The urgent tone of the text is intended to get you to respond immediately, before you take time to evaluate it. Avoid the impulse and instead, stop and think before taking action. Waiting a few minutes isn't going to jeopardize your accounts. But quickly responding to a phishing text out of habit could trigger a disaster. Ask yourself:

  • Do I know the sender?
  • Could I call them to verify the text?
  • Was I expecting a message like this?
  • Is this an appropriate way for a business to reach me about my personal account?
  • If this was so urgent, why are they sending a threatening text?
  • Is there a legitimate reason they would need me to respond quickly?

Most legitimate companies wouldn’t use a text message to let you know there’s something wrong with your account or request personal information. The best response is to contact the sending institution directly to confirm that it sent the text, and then delete the message or your phone may have an option to filter and block messages from unknown senders or spam. You may also want to notify other family members to watch for the phony text.

For more information on how to identify, report, and block a variety of text phishing scams, visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for additional tips to  stay protected.


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You clicked. Now what?

Computers and mobile devices often are equipped with security software, but security threats change quickly. Your personal data could be compromised, leaving you with a lot to untangle. SafetyNet offers good tips on how to deal with the consequences of a phishing attack.

But the best thing to do is be prepared before it happens. Citadel offers members access to one of the nation’s most trusted identity theft protection and recovery services. If your identity has been stolen or your information is compromised, a personal Recovery Advocate can complete the recovery work on your behalf, report on progress along the way, and be there for you until everything is restored – no matter how long it takes. 

At Citadel, we monitor your accounts 24/7 for suspicious activity and we’re dedicated to keeping you informed about any new security threats or scams targeted at consumers. Learn more about how to protect yourself against fraudsters today!

Citadel is dedicated to protecting the finances, privacy, and data of our members.

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