BBB Warns of Spam Texts Being Sent to Steal Consumer’s Personal Information.

March 09, 2012

A new year means a new scam, this time, targeting cell phone users.“Smishing,” similar to “phishing,” uses text messages to bait consumers into divulging their personal information.

One form of this scam tricks consumers into believing their bank accounts or credit cards have been frozen. The text message appears to come from the consumer’s Bank or Credit Card Company and directs the victim to call a provided number to unfreeze their account. When they the call the number, an automated voice recording tells them to enter their Bank Account or Credit Card number on the phone key pad. Entering the number, will give scammers access to your Credit Card number or Bank account who then can use the information to clone cards, make online purchase and even steal your identity.

BBB offers these tips on how to protect your personal information from smishing texts:

· Do not reply. Replying to a spam text only verifies that your number is active, meaning more messages can be sent.

· Check with your bank directly. Separate from the text, look up your bank’s phone number and contact your bank directly to confirm the status of your accounts.

· Avoid unknown links. Do not click on any link sent by an unknown party.

· Block suspicious numbers. If you have received texts from an unknown number, contact your phone provider to block the number the texts are originating from.

· Do not store personal information on your phone. Avoid storing credit card and account login information in emails or notes on your phone.

For more advice from BBB on how to avoid scams, visit