If you get a text message or email from anyone claiming to be from a financial institution, Ontario Provincial Police is warning residents to be careful about how they respond.

TNorfolk County OPP has received several calls from various residents indicating that they received text messages claiming to be from their financial institution – advising them that their banking accounts had been suspended.

The text message provides a link for the potential victim to click on – in order to unlock their account. There has been at least one victim, who provided all of their personal identifying information and financial information, including date of birth, bank account number, online pin and four security questions.

Police say the fraudulent link looks as if it’s coming from a legitimate financial institution. Police advise these messages are likely from online fraudsters “phishing” for your personal information to gain access to your finances or commit other crimes in your name.

Police say this example acts as a good reminder that most financial institutions never request personal or financial information by sending out unsolicited e-mails or text messages.

For more information on fraud, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.