You should be extremely vigilant if you receive a text message or email from anyone claiming to be from a financial institution.

The OPP has received several calls from various residents indicating that they received text messages claiming to be from their financial institution advising them that their banking accounts have been suspended.

The text message requested the receiver to click on a link in order to unlock their account. As result, one resident provided all of their personal identifying information along with financial information.

The questions that were answered included date of birth, banking account number, on-line pin and four (4) security questions.

The messages contain links to fraudulent websites that look as if they come from a legitimate financial institution. However they  may be from online fraudsters “phishing” for your personal information – account numbers, passwords – to gain access to your finances or commit other crimes in your name.

Most financial institutions never request personal or financial information by sending out unsolicited e-mails or text messages. Never send personal identification numbers or confidential financial information by e-mail or text message as it is not a secure method.

For more information on fraud, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca.