PNC warns against phishing scam alerting customers of “unauthorized activity” on account

PITTSBURGH — Phishing scams are targeting PNC customers, and they are so sophisticated that they appear to be real.

Some of these attempts come via email or text message, saying there has been “unauthorized activity” on your account and to call an 888 number.

The scams via text are known as SMiShing attempts because they come through as SMS message.

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We called the 888 number listed in the fraudulent “alert.” The fake customer service number has now been reported and it’s out of service, but before it was flagged as fraud, a person on the other line asked for personal identifying information including an account number.

PNC says if this happens to you, don’t respond to texts or emails, don’t click on any links and don’t give out any personal information like bank account numbers or Social Security numbers.

Experts say look over your financial statements closely for any unauthorized activity. If something isn’t right, call customer service immediately or stop by a local branch.

If you think you received a scam email or text, send a picture of it to abuse@pnc.com so the bank can document it.

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A PNC spokesperson also sent us several consumer tips and the following statement:

“We take these matters very seriously, and continue to take measures to protect the security and privacy of our customers.”

“Some cybercriminals have shifted their approach and are targeting consumers directly through known and trusted channels of communication. One such scam involves fraudulent outreach via text, e-mail or phone calls. These communications appear to be initiated by PNC, but instead are being sent by a fraudster in hopes of obtaining customers’ personal or account-related information.”

The best defense against these tactics is to be aware and vigilant. If you receive an unexpected text, email or phone call that appears to be from PNC, we recommend the following:

  • Do not click on provided text or email links in fraud alerts;
  • Do not share your online or mobile banking password by phone, text or email, as PNC will never ask you for this information;
  • Never share your online or mobile banking username via phone, text or email, unless you initiated the outreach to PNC and know with certainty you are communicating with a PNC representative;
  • Do not respond to requests for other personal or financial information such as full credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, as PNC will never contact you to ask for this type of personal or account information by phone, text or email;
  • Forward suspicious emails to PNC Abuse (abuse@pnc.com) and forward screen shots of fraudulent text messages that appear to be from PNC to PNC Abuse (abuse@pnc.com);
  • PNC customers who believe they may have responded to a fraudulent text or email and disclosed personal or account-related information, should immediately change their PNC online and mobile banking username and password, then contact us directly at 888-PNC-BANK (888-762-2265);
  • Visit the Security and Privacy Center on pnc.com for more information on the prevention, detection and remediation of these types of scams.