SMiShing alert: Mind your incoming text messages!

Posted By David Pollino In Your Business | 5 Comments

I recently heard of a text messaging scam making the rounds among banking customers, so I thought now is a good time to remind readers about SMiShing (SMS phishing) and how to protect yourself from this type of threat.

Young woman leaning over a railing while looking at her phone, reading a text message. [1]Like other types of phishing [2], the goal of SMiShing attackers is to get you to click on a nefarious link, to respond to the message, or to call them. Through text messages, they want to install malware on your device or get your important personal information.

In this recent scam, you may receive a text message purporting to be from a financial institution about unauthorized activity on your account. To avoid a service suspension, you are asked to enter personal information via a link, which of course is a bogus link. Another example: You’re informed that you’ve been signed up for a dating service with a monthly charge. You visit the website to make sure you’re not registered for the service and click on a link which loads malware to your device.

Here are a few tips to help protect yourself:

  • If you receive a message you’re not expecting, do not click on any links, call the phone number, or respond to the message or forward it. Delete the message immediately. Remember, no legitimate financial institution or online merchant will ask for your personal financial information when reaching out to you.
  • If you have clicked a link and provided private information, contact your bank right away.
  • Your best safeguards against this type of threat are to always monitor your accounts closely and be vigilant in protecting your personal information.
  • Contact your financial institution or other merchant immediately if you spot any suspicious activity on your account.

Go to the Bank of the West Security Center [3] for additional tips about security for your mobile device, and also take a look at our Consumer Online Safety Tips [4].

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