Multiple news organizations, in this case all the local TV stations in my area, have reported about this mysterious text message saying your “Achieve Account” being frozen. It also has a number that you should not call because it is an attempt to steal your identity; if you get a message similar to the above message, just delete it.
It may seem simple — don’t call any old number that is sent to you in an e-mail or a text. However, I thought that this one was unique enough and hitting widely enough to write about the subject. My wife Misty and I also received a text similar to the one the news stories are reporting; the screenshot posted above is the actual message I got with the number you should call blurred out just in case you were curious. The number itself seems to be changing as the authorities are identifying them. The message seems to be hitting mostly Verizon customers, and it is coming from random @vtext.com addresses. This means the fraudster could be using Verizon’s internet gateway to send these texts. Getting the text does not mean that your information has compromised, but if you DO call the number — and it’s active — and you put in ANY account number that you do control, it’s safe to say that account will be compromised. So if you haven’t called the number, you are safe; just delete the text.
So what do you do if you get a message like this in the future? Well, I usually ignore them. The main reason to do so is that banks will never send a general e-mail or text message about an account issue — especially one asking you to call a number. If you are ever unsure, then you should call the number you already know for your banking or credit card institution first; NEVER call the number in any text or e-mail.
I am sure that these types of scams are going to get more prevalent and harder to detect as time goes by, but this particular one is very easy to identify as a scam. Remain vigilant, and you shouldn’t have a problem.