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.

A 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…

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