Our Fraud Specialists have identified an increase in text message (SMS) phishing attempts in the state. In this scheme, often referred to as “smishing,” scammers target personal cell phones with text messages in an effort to trick victims into clicking on malicious links or divulging personal information to gain access to your cell phone, email or financial accounts.
While the idea of scammers sending out fraudulent messages is not a new idea, there has been a rise in smishing in recent years as texting or messaging has become a primary form of communication. It’s important to know the warning signs and steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Signs that a text message may be a scam include:
- You don’t recognize the sender.
- The message attempts to create a sense of urgency and uses phrases similar to “urgent security alert” or “act now.”
- The sender’s number is not a standard 10-digit format. Fraudsters may use programs to create text messages that come across as a string of numbers.
- The message promises free prizes or gift cards.
- The message claims to be shipping or tracking information links for deliveries.
Fraudulent text messages may be difficult to distinguish, but a few tips to avoid becoming a victim can include:
- Ignore and delete suspicious text messages.
- Do not click any links or respond to messages if you are not sure they are legitimate.
- Be wary of messages received from what seems to be a reputable company or government agency that doesn’t normally contact you in that manner. Verify the source by contacting the company or agency directly from their website, not in the link provided.
- Avoid storing account access information on your cell phone.
- Never share sensitive information such as your debit card or account numbers, online banking credentials or secure one-time passcodes with anyone.
If you are a MVSB customer and you are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised in response to a suspicious text, please call us directly at 800.922.6872 so that we can assist you with protecting your accounts and identity.
View more information and resources on this smishing at www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-report-spam-text-messages#spam. Report any potential fraud at www.ftc.gov/complaint or www.ic3.gov.