Wells Fargo Text Scam
Reports of a new Wells Fargo text scam have been circulating the web since 2021. Wells Fargo does send texts to customers, so it can be tricky to detect what is a legitimate alert from the bank, and what is a scam.
While many scam texts just try to fool you with obviously suspicious links, Wells Fargo scams may be a little more sophisticated than that.
These texts will usually try to lure the victim into engaging with the scammer. It can be the good old-fashioned following of links, responding to the text, and even taking calls from Wells Fargo employee impersonators.
This type of scam is meant to steal sensitive information such as your Social Security Number or credit card number.
With how common phishing and scam texts have become, it’s essential to know the tell-tale signs. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this scam and what to do if you receive a suspicious text from Wells Fargo.
Is the Wells Fargo text a scam?
This depends. As we said, you may receive legitimate texts from Wells Fargo. These will usually be alerts about unusual activity on your account. However, Wells Fargo will never ask for your online banking password, card PIN, or temporary access codes.
If you receive these kinds of requests, especially in a text posing as an alert for a Zelle transaction or purchase, it is definitely a scam. This is a type of phishing attempt via text called smishing.
Victims of Wells Fargo text smishing, including a Navy veteran from California, have lost thousands of dollars to these scammers. Below, we’ll break down what these kinds of scams look like so you can avoid becoming their next victim.
How to spot the scam
Here is what a typical Wells Fargo text scam might look like:
You’ll receive a text from a “Wells Fargo” number. It will read something like this:
“Wells Fargo – your account access is temporarily blocked. We noticed suspicious activity on a credit card linked to your Wells Fargo account. You’ll be able to regain access to these features once you provide the required information.”
Followed by a phishing link.
If you reply to the text, you’ll receive a follow-up call from a Wells Fargo “representative” who will offer you “solutions” to reverse the unauthorized Zelle transaction or purchase. Wells Fargo never does this.
These impersonators can be very convincing. They usually number-spoof Wells Fargo to appear legitimate. They may even have information such as account numbers or available funds, but don’t fall for it.
Instead of help, the scammer will try to extract personal information from you or convince you to make Zelle transactions to their accounts.
Now that you know what the typical Wells Fargo text scam looks like, here are some other signs to watch out for:
If the text makes you panic, it’s already a bad sign. Scammers use scare tactics such as claiming your account is frozen or urging you to act quickly to undo a suspicious transaction. Wells Fargo will never do this. Their texts will only inform you, not collect information from you.
Spelling mistakes and poor grammar
A reputable company like Wells Fargo will never send messages with sloppy writing or typos. All caps and exclamation points are also a dead giveaway.
If a Wells Fargo text includes a link, check that the URL belongs to wellsfargo.com. Scammers may try to disguise a malicious website with tricks such as extra letters or subtle variations. Instead of following links, always try to visit the Wells Fargo website yourself and navigate over to the page you are looking for.
Any text from an unofficial Wells Fargo number is a scam. The official Wells Fargo shortcodes are 93557, 93733, 93729, 93767, and 22981. We recommend you add these shortcodes and trusted phone numbers to your contacts so you can immediately distinguish legit texts from scams.
No requests for passwords, PINs, access codes, or any other type of personal information will ever come from Wells Fargo. If you doubt a request, even for a moment, it is always best to check directly with Wells Fargo first.
What to do if you receive a Wells Fargo scam text
If you receive any texts from Wells Fargo that ask you to do anything, don’t be hasty. If the text fits the Wells Fargo text scam we described above or if it is otherwise suspicious in any way, here’s what you should do:
Check if it’s from Wells Fargo
You can be sure whether or not a text alert from Wells Fargo is the real deal by logging into your Wells Fargo account. Once you log in, records of any information you have been sent by text should also be present in the secure message center.
If you’re still unsure, check out the official Wells Fargo guide on phishing on text scams.
Even if the URL looks legit, it’s best to navigate over to the page yourself through the Wells Fargo website. Never log into your account by following links in a text. This may lead you to a dummy site that looks like Wells Fargo but is designed to steal your account username and password.
A scam text isn’t dangerous until you interact with it. Responding to the message will only pull you into the scammer’s net. The scammers will try to confuse you or hassle you with follow-up calls and texts.
And whatever you do, do not provide any personal information.
Report the scam to Wells Fargo
Instead of following suspicious links or responding to these scam texts, simply report it to Wells Fargo directly. Just forward the text to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll get an automated response from the Wells Fargo team and they will start investigating the situation right away.
Report the scams to your carrier
You can also report scams to your carrier by forwarding the text to 7726 (SPAM). This will work for most mobile carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint
We also recommend you check your bill to make sure no unauthorized charges are present.
Block the sender
Once you have reported the scam text to Wells Fargo and your carrier, you can block the sender and/or delete the message.
Clean up your digital footprint
This one is more of a preventative measure. You receive spam and scam text messages because your phone number has been exposed. The best solution to avoid scams like the Wells Fargo text scam is to reduce your digital footprint by making your personal information, including your phone number, private.
This way, scammers won’t have a way to contact you, and more importantly, they won’t have access to personal details that can fool you into believing they are real Wells Fargo (or other company) representatives. You can find our detailed guide on removing your personal information from the internet here.
What to do if you fell victim to a Wells Fargo text scam
In case you’ve already replied to a Wells Fargo text scam, or worse, no need to panic. There are still steps you can (and should) take to deal with the situation.
Change your password and inform Wells Fargo
Before you do anything else, log in to your Wells Fargo account and change the passwords immediately. Then, call the Wells Fargo fraud team right away at 1-866-867-5568. They will start an investigation into the incident and help you secure your account.
With any luck, you may beat the scammers before they have time to steal from you. Even if you have already suffered losses, this will prevent them from doing any more damage to your bank account.
File official reports
Contact your local police department and file an official fraud report and share any evidence and details of the crime you have collected. The police will investigate the crime, and with any luck, catch the culprits.
You should also report the Wells Fargo text scam to the Federal Trade Commission using their online form, or by calling 1-877-382-4357. The FTC can take legal action against scammers, bring them to justice, and prevent future crimes
It is also worth filing a complaint to the Better Business Bureau here. They spread information about existing scams, making it harder for these criminals to operate.
If scammers have gained access to sensitive personal information such as your bank account and credit card numbers or Social Security Number, you’re at high risk of identity theft.
It’s essential to monitor any suspicious activity related to your SSN. You can find a detailed guide on how to spot the signs that someone is using your SSN and what to do if they are here.
If you suspect that your identity has been stolen as a result of the Wells Fargo Scam, this FTC identity theft resource will help you create a recovery plan.
Whatever you end up deciding, remain vigilant and be mindful about what personal information you share online.