Scammers have a new angle, and they're getting Minnesotans to fall for it because it's very sneaky and it seems legit.

In this latest scheme, the bad guys either call, email, or text you posing as your bank trying to help you determine if you've had an unauthorized charge on your account.

Imagine this scenario: You get a text from your bank alerting you to a potential purchase you didn't make. Example, "U.S. Bank Alert: Suspicious Activity! Did you make a purchase for $2910.99 at Watson Jewelers in Sacramento, California?"

Then it asks you to call if you didn't make the purchase, or text back some info, or complete an online form -- asking for things like your PIN and/or last four digits of your card. The fake-bankers might even have your address and other contact info.

WARNING: Give them the requested info, and they have access to your account.

So how do you avoid being a victim? Disregard the message, and immediately call your financial institution. If it was a legitimate issue, they will be able to help you. If it wasn't, the thieves will be thwarted.

U.S. Bank says that you should never reply to emails, phone calls, or text messages that request your personal information. Here's their Guide to Minimize Fraud & Theft.

May the force be with you. Don't let the bad guys getcha!

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