Smishing – An ID Theft Scam

Have you been “smished” lately? Be on the alert for text messages with links — they could be an ID theft scam known as smishing.

Similar to phishing (which involves email), smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver bait that’s intended to get you to divulge personal information. Smishing may involve winning a prize or a message that contains something that requires your immediate attention — the link tells you to “click here.” If you click on the infected link, it downloads malware that allows the bad guys to gain control of your device remotely. They can then use your phone from anywhere in the world to access your banking information, credit card data and the like.

What to do:
If you receive a text message that asks for sensitive information –

  • Do not reply to the message.
  • Do not click on any of the links that may be embedded in the message.
  • Contact your carrier’s privacy or fraud team. If their company name or brand is used in efforts to fraudulently obtain personal information, they may choose to pursue legal action.
  • Contact your financial institution to be sure your accounts have not been compromised.

Visit the FTC Identity Theft website to learn more about how to minimize damage from identity theft. If you believe that you have been a victim of a smishing scam, you can file an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant. You can also call the FTC toll-free at 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).

Bottom line: Avoid clicking!

Save someone from getting smished:
As technology provides new ways to expose and defend against familiar scams, clever con artists devise new ones. Please share this with loved ones and friends — smish be gone, pass this on!

If you notice any fraudulent activity on any of your First Financial accounts, contact us by calling 732.312.1500, emailing or stopping into any one of our branches.

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