“Smishing” is a fraudulent action, similar to phishing, using SMS (text) messages rather than e-mail. Fraudsters launch these social engineering attacks to trick people into providing personal information. Much like a phishing e-mail, a smishing text message may appear to be from a legitimate source.
Here’s how it works:
- Fraudsters send account alerts via text with many types of messages. Some warn of suspicious debit card activity, others that your account has been the subject of a security breach, and some state that you’ve won cash or prizes.
- The member receives notification that a security passcode will be sent to their device and will need to provide it to “verify their account.”
- The fraudster then attempts a transaction, triggering a 2-step authentication passcode. The member receives the passcode who, in turn, provides it to the scammer on the phone.
- Once in the hands of the fraudster, personal information is used maliciously and at the expense of the member.
Here are some ways to prevent a fraud attack:
Do not follow any website links given via text message. It is best to call the company or your financial institution directly to verify the validity of the correspondence.
Look for suspicious features of the message. If the text has a sense of urgency about responding, it is more than likely a smishing attempt. You will know what alerts you have established for your phone; don’t be fooled by something that looks different.
If it appears to be “too good to be true,” it probably is. Be cautious of any text stating you’ve won a grand prize, especially if you do not remember entering a contest. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you can receive something for nothing. It is not worth it!
Do not reply to the text message. Again, instead of responding, contact the company or financial institution directly if there is any question regarding your accounts. At Altana, we assure you that we will never ask you to provide this type of personal financial information through a text message or a URL link.
We would encourage you to call our representatives immediately at 406.651.AFCU(2328) if you receive any message from what appears to be our financial institution asking you to do so.
We will never ask for your account number, social security number, or any other personal financial identification information in an e-mail, text, or via social media. When in doubt, call us. We are here to protect you and keep your information safe.