In light of the scam messages that have been pouring in, I thought I would mention this one. I received a couple of alarming text messages claiming to be from my bank, saying my account is frozen, and that I should go to a certain url right away. Because there’s been some unusual things on my account just now, I thought it was possible that something weird may have happened, maybe a security alert got triggered. But I logged into my online banking, and nothing was amiss. I also checked my emails, because THAT IS THE WAY MY BANK NORMALLY CONTACTS ME. They do not send texts.
If it’s really your bank, they will use only the methods they’ve used in the past, which for most are phone (voice messages) and email. Online services emailing you will address you the same way as they always have. Paypal, for instance, will always call you by your name. They will not start an email with, “Hello, Customer,” or anything else. If the sender’s address says it’s Paypal but then the email doesn’t address you by name, then it’s a spoofed email pretending to be them. Sometimes spoofers are able to make it look like the email came from the company or service when it didn’t, even faking the sender's address.
I think it's worth repeating: When you get an email or text message from some bank or online payment service you use, don’t click on the links within the email or text if you want to check that account. Don’t EVER click on links in an email (unless it's an online service that normally does this and you know all about the reason for it); instead, go to a new window, type in the url normally and log in with your password.