You may have heard of phishing — an email tactic cybercriminals use to scam victims by pretending to be a trusted source — but have you heard of SMiShing? SMiShing is like phishing, but with a text to your phone instead of an email to your computer. SMiShing messages are on the rise, in fact, it’s so common these days you’ve probably already received one. Here are some tips to protect yourself form SmiShing:
- Ask if the text message plays on fear. Fear of someone stealing your money, of your account being overdrawn, of deposits being disabled, or of your account being closed are common tactics used by scammers. If you have this fear while reading a text message, do not reply.
- Don’t be rushed. These scams attempt to create a false sense of urgency by implying that an immediate response is required or that there is a limited time to respond.
- Never reply with personal information. Personal or financial information, like usernames, passwords, PINs, or credit or debit card numbers will never be requested via text message from SESLOC or any other credit union, bank or government institution.
- Enable the “Block Texts From The Internet” feature on your smartphone if available. Most spammers and smishers send texts via an internet text relay service which helps hide their identity. Many cell providers will let you turn on a feature that will block texts that come in from the internet. Visit your carrier’s website for details about blocking.
- Verify the source. If you have not set up Online Banking to deliver Alerts via text message, then the text is not from SESLOC. If you have opted-in, then note the Alerts are a one-way communication. We will never send a link or ask you to reply to the text message. SESLOC will never call, text or email you and ask for account numbers or other personal information. Please call us direct at (805) 543-1816 if you have any questions regarding your account.