What is SMiShing?
Named for SMS (Short Message Service), the technology used for cell phone text messaging, 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 select 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, it's safer to ignore the call or delete the message. If you're suspicious about a banking phone number received via text message, 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 wireless phone company to see if they offer the option to block certain types of text messages.
- Get on the Do Not Call List — Register your wireless number with the national Do Not Call List. Either sign up online at www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Install software with discretion — Only install software from reputable companies or from providers you trust.
If you suspect that you’ve received a fraudulent text message, please forward it to us. After forwarding the text message, you should delete it from your device.
- Forward suspicious texts to: email@example.com.
- You may also want to forward it to the Federal Trade Commission at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or contact them at: www.consumer.gov/idtheft , 1-877-IDTHEFT
Think you've responded to a SMiShing text message by mistake?
If you have already replied to a text message with personal information and now think the text was fraudulent, call us immediately at: 1-888-285-9696