Smishing - Cell Phone Users Beware

August 14, 2008

Smishing is a combination of short message service (SMS – also known as text messaging) and phishing the act of emailing someone with the intent of obtaining personal information that can be used for identity theft. 


Messages are being received across the country by cell phone users claiming their accounts are delinquent, need to be updated or even to register for a new program.  Links in the message and toll-free telephone numbers are being used. 


The BBB reminds consumers that cell phones can get viruses, so never click on links from any unknown person.  In addition, if you get a message to call someone about an account, make sure you compare the number to information from a reliable source to make sure it isn’t the number of a scammer waiting to get your personal information from you.


Parents are encouraged to make their children with cell phones aware of these tactics that could disable the cell phone or enable the scam artist to obtain passwords as the cell phone user visits personal websites to banks or credit union accounts, email sites or social networking sites such as FaceBook or MySpace.


Those wanting your personal information are creative: you need to stay vigilant and educate those who may be new to these scams.