Smishing Scam Awareness
Scammers are now targeting people through text messaging. It’s called “smishing”. Like in all scams, these criminals prey on your sense of urgency. However, with “smishing” scammers also hope to catch you with your guard down. Most people have a tendency to trust their text messages.
This particular scam can come across your phone in various ways. Here are some examples:
Financial Institutions: Dear Bank Customer, Due to a possible breach of some of our account holders, we need you to verify your PIN immediately.
Personal Accounts: Did you request a password reset at firstname.lastname@example.org? If not, please reply STOP. Or Dear Customer, Your Apple ID is set to expire, please follow this link to prevent loss of service.
Seasonal Opportunities: IRS Notice: Tax Return Overdue! Click here to prevent penalties.
Sweepstakes: Dear Walmart Shopper, you just won a $100 gift card. Click on www.fakewebsite.com to claim your prize. Type STOP to cancel.
Personal Message: Spring is finally here! Do you want to go? Jane gave me your number, check out my profile here at (fakelink).
These are all scams. If you receive a text message like these examples, do not text or call the number. By texting STOP, you are verifying that your phone number is valid. Just delete the text message. If you are concerned, call the company directly.
Sources: Brentwood Police Dept. (Facebook Page), fortune.com and USAToday.com