It took just a momentary lapse in judgment for Alyssa Beckwith to fall for the scam.

The text message she received looked legitimate — even expected. After some of her personal information had already been stolen a few years ago, she signed up for text alerts from her bank, Wells Fargo, to confirm each time she made a new purchase. And that step to protect herself, ironically, is what made her such an easy target.

So when a scammer texted Beckwith in April, telling her that her Wells Fargo card had been charged with a $240 withdrawal and to “Contact Us if Suspicious,” she didn’t think twice and called. A robotic voice welcomed her to Wells Fargo and asked her to verify herself, so she entered in her credit card number, Social Security number and birthday.

Smishing attempt sent to Alyssa Beckwith.Courtesy Alyssa Beckwith

“This information is valid. Thank you,” the voice said, and hung up. Only then did she realize her mistake.

“I was like, wait a minute,”…

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