'Smishing' scam: What is it, how can consumers protect personal information?

Protecting personal information is key, experts say

ORLANDO, Fla. – Internet email scammers have moved to a new way to prompt consumers to give them their personal information using their handheld devices.

The text message scam is referred to as SMS phishing, or a text message phishing scam that asks you for personal information with a call to action to get your information quickly. The scam can come in many forms, from asking for banking information to an enrollment as a mystery shopper.

This is similar to email phishing scams of the past that also asked for personal identifying information.

According to the experts, consumers can protect themselves from smishing attempts. 

  • Use caution if you receive an email or text expressing an urgent need for you to update your information, activate your online banking account, or verify your identity by clicking on a link.
  •  If you receive an email or text message requesting sensitive information, do not respond. Delete it.
  • If you receive a suspicious phone call requesting your information or access to your account, hang up and contact the company using a legitimate source such as a phone number on the company’s website.
  • If you are a banking customer who received this text message and clicked on the link, call your bank immediately.