The internet can be a dangerous place, and as people become wiser to the different ways spammers and hackers can acquire their information, these same attackers find new ways to wreak havoc on innocent users. Most people have heard of phishing, which are emails designed to convince you to divulge personal information by imitating big companies, like banks asking for account information or retail stores offering “too-good-to-be-true” offers. But have you heard about the newest craze in hi-tech spamming? It’s called smishing, or phishing through your SMS text messages.
Because text messages are the most common non-voice use of mobile phones, this new type of scam is making a big impact. According to HowStuffWorks.com, the two most common types of smishing attacks
involve 1) being prompted by a seemingly trusted source (like your financial institution) and instructed to verify account information which is then stolen and 2) receiving a text from a seemingly reliable source that holds an attachment, which contains a virus or malware.
To protect yourself from these types of attacks, take these steps to avoid spam messages:
- Always verify the source! If a text seems to come from a valid business or institution, go directly to them and confirm that the message was legitimate.
- Do not click on attachments or download apps from unknown sources.
- Avoid messages that come from the number 5000; this is generally a number that is hiding the real sender’s identity.
- Contact your phone provider and alert them if you you’ve been receiving these types of messages.
Remember, we here at FCU take your private information seriously and will never contact you via a pop-up, phone, email or text to ask you for your private information. If you have any concerns or suspicions about a message from Florida Credit Union, please contact us immediately!
Have you ever been a victim of smishing? Tell us about it in the comments below!
If you like this article, be sure to check out “5 Ways to Protect Yourself at an ATM.”