Text wisely and safely
Before you respond to any text message, learn how to distinguish a genuine text from a "SMiShing" message that may have been sent by a scam artist.
What is SMiShing?
SMiShing messages appear to be from a legitimate company and typically contain a link that takes you to a spoof website or asks you to call a phone number. Even if you don't enter any information, selecting the link can lead to other problems, such as installing key logging software or dangerous viruses on your phone.
How to spot SMiShing
- Requests to renew your bank service - The message may say your banking web service has expired, and to renew it you need to click an enclosed link and visit your bank's website where you can update your account information.
- Impending charge notices - The text usually states something to the effect that you will be charged a certain amount per day if you don't call to cancel.
How to protect yourself
- Avoid selecting links in unsolicited text messages - Instead, go directly to the company's website and fill out information there.
- Don't respond to unknown numbers - If you miss a call on your mobile device or receive a text message from an unknown number, which you think is suspicious, it's safer to ignore the call or delete the message. If you're doubtful about a message that is claimed to be sent from your bank but are from a number you are unfamiliar, you can always call the toll-free number on the back of your credit or debit card instead.
- Set up blocking features - Check with your phone service provider whether they offer the option to block certain types of text messages.
- Install software with discretion - Only install software from reputable companies or from providers you trust.