SCAM ALERT: State Attorney Phil Archer Warns About New Text Message Scam Called ‘Smishing’
By Phil Archer, State Attorney // June 9, 2017
easiest solution is to not click on provided link
ABOVE VIDEO: There is a new scam targeting cell phone users. Like traditional “phishing,” “smishing” attempts to get cell phone users to click on a link included in a text message.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – We’ve warned you about phishing emails (when a scammer creates an email that appears to be from someone you trust and includes a malicious link). But there’s also a text message version called “SMishing,” short for SMS phishing.
Like our photo, the texting scam looks legitimate because it pretends to be a fraud alert from your bank or credit card issuer. Scammers are spoofing banks’ phone numbers and sending text messages.
A spoofed phone number hides the actual number the text is coming from and displays a number from a trusted source, like your bank. The text claims that your debit card or account has been restricted or used to make a purchase and if you do not recognize the transaction, to call their fraud prevention helpline.
A linked phone number is provided for you to call. Calling the number provided in the text connects you to the fraudster who will then ask you to confirm your sensitive banking details.
With this information they can steal money from your account.
In at least one reported incident, when the victim notified her bank, the claim was denied. The bank said that it was not at fault because the victim willingly divulged personal security information used to obtain money from her account.
While we don’t believe this is the norm, it’s worth considering.
Because Smishing scams are becoming more frequent, we wanted to share some suggestions to help you avoid them:
- Phone number – If you receive a text or email claiming to be from your bank, do NOT call the phone number that is provided. Always call the number that is printed on the back of your debit or credit card.
- Security details – You should NEVER reveal your security details like your full passwords or PIN code over the phone. They might ask you to answer a preset security question which is fine, but never your password.
- Be suspicious – Never assume that a text message or email is genuine. Scammers can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to make them look official. Don’t click on links within these messages, always type the website address into your browser or call the phone number located on the back of your credit or debit card.
- Trust your instincts – If a text or email seems suspicious, delete it immediately. Follow up by calling the company using the trusted phone number on the back of your card.
- Take your time – If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your bank, don’t let them rush you into giving them sensitive information. The incoming number could have been spoofed and a scammer might be on the line. Just tell them that you need a moment and you will call them back. Then call using the phone number that you know is correct.
- Don’t feel pressured – If the person calling is pressuring you to give them sensitive data, stay calm and refuse. Just hang up the phone and call the company’s trusted number to follow up with the issue.
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