Is it just me or are there more criminals out there than ever? Or is it the criminals have simply become more sophisticated at how they (attempt to) steal our money.

The Michigan Attorney General's office Friday sent out a warning to Michigan residents to be extra careful about fraudulent bank alerts, saying there's been more of them in the past few days and weeks.

"The deceitful scam usually starts with a phone text – coming from their bank – alerting the receiver to what appears to be the fraudulent use of a his or her debit card. The alert appears to be real; for example:"

“FREE TEXT from Fifth Third Bank #2579 To continue using your card, please verify this transaction: 02/05 – Gucci Merchant $1632.00.  Press Y for Yes or N for No.”

Here's where the scam gets scary because of what is being spoofed.

"The alert goes on to say "The text or email alert is then followed by a phone call – which appears to be coming from the bank’s 1-800 customer service number. When quizzed about whether the call is real, the caller even says: “Check on the back of your card and you will see that I am calling from the customer service number listed there.” That, in fact, is true because they have “spoofed” the customer service number, making it appear as if that is the number from which they are calling.

The caller is very professional, commits to ensuring the fraudulent charges are dropped, then begins to ask questions that eventually lead to an attempt to confirm the card holder’s PIN number. - Michigan Attorney General's office.

The warning gives another example, too. "In another instance, the text message is a “ChaseBank notice” warning that “your debit card is temporary locked” (misspelling temporarily), with instruction to call a stated number 'for support.'"

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