What is Smishing?

“Smishing” is phishing that occurs through SMS text messaging, where the spammer wants you to click on a link or respond to the text. There has been an increase in Smishing attacks over the last few months, especially the type that includes text messages that impersonate your bank to try to steal your personal information and money.

Here are a few tips to avoid and deal with a smishing scam!

  • Don’t reply to the text message or call the number

Never send a reply or call the number. Replying may actually result in more messages being spammed to your phone.

  • Do a web search of both the number and the message content

Type the number or the message (or both) into a Google search. Chances are, you are not the first person to receive that message and may find other sources that list the scam.

  • If the phishing message is spoofing a company, call the company directly

Many smishing messages will pretend to be a well-known company, such as a store or bank. If you believe the message is a scam, instead of calling or texting the scam number, look up that company’s customer service number from its official website.

  • Don’t click on any links in the message

Scammers do not need you to give up passwords, pins and social security numbers. They just need to pique your interest enough to get you to click on a link and potentially download a malicious file to your phone. Some telltale signs that you may have some malicious software on your phone may be:

  • Unsuspected memory usage

  • Phone heating up excessively

  • Pop-up messages while using your smartphone web browser

Having an antivirus software on your phone is a good idea as it can help stop malicious files from being auto-downloaded as well as block potentially malicious websites. However, the best method is to question these texts and call you bank directly.

We’re here to help – call us at 1-888-254-9500 if you received texts from us asking for personal information. Remember, a bank will never pressure you, use scare tactics, ask you for your personal pin, password, login code or social security number. Learn more about scams within our Security Center webpage.

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