If there are not already enough threats for consumers living on the internet, today’s newest trend, phishing attempts initiated via text or SMS, called smishing, is gaining prominence amongst hackers in the financial space.
In these smishing scams, hackers send fraudulent text messages that are intended to look like a credible financial source in an attempt to lure recipients into providing their account credentials.
A common smishing tactic is to text a user a message that prompts them to follow the link in the text to take action. The link directs to a fake website that then requests login credentials, which are then used by the scam artists to access the accounts and the funds within them.
Consumers should be aware of these types of smishing scams and proceed with caution when clicking links from unknown sources, and especially those that are out of the blue.
To prevent smishing scams from happening to you:
- DO NOT click links or provide any personal information to a sender that looks unusual.
- If you receive a fraudulent text and have NOT acted on the text, then you can safely ignore and delete it.
- If you have clicked on the hyperlink and supplied any credentials, immediately change your login and password for your financial provider and email accounts.
- Only navigate directly to a financial provider’s website or use an authorized mobile app when accessing your accounts.
- Confirm you’re accessing a secure website. Secure websites begin with “https,” not “http” and are denoted with a padlock icon in the address bar.
If you believe you may be the target of a smishing attempt contact your financial institution directly and alert them to the scam to help prevent future backlash. If you question the legitimacy of a communication from a financial institute, login to your account directly from an authorized app or the financial provider’s website and see if the same notifications exist.
Scam artists are increasingly deceptive. Don’t fall victim to these scams and alert your loved one’s to spread the word against these types of scams.