The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning Utahns to beware of phishing scams this holiday season.
With a phishing scam, people receive a text message, e-mail or automated phone call telling them there is a problem with their bank accounts.
It asks for personal information, such as an account number, PIN or credit card number to fix the problem, but a scammer is on the other end.
"They find that, within a matter of minutes, their bank accounts are drained," FBI spokeswoman Debbie Bertram said of victims.
The FBI tends to see an uptick in these scams during the holidays, Bertram said. It is a time when people tend to let their guard down and fall for the scam so they can continue their hectic shopping, traveling and planning, she said.
The FBI has not seen any occurrence of Utahns falling for the text message or phone call versions of the scam so far, but at least a few have been scammed by the e-mail.
The FBI warns not to open e-mails or text messages that seem to be from a bank. Just opening the message could download a virus that grants the scammer access to the information on someone's computer or phone, Bertram said.
In October, FBI agents in Omaha, Neb., arrested scammers who stole a total of $70 million from people's bank accounts. The scammers sent the victims e-mails containing malware that stole bank account information from their computers.
"Don't give up personal information. Just because you're asked doesn't mean you have to do it," Bertram said.
The FBI advises Utahns to contact their banks directly with any questions or problems.