Farmers State Bank

Text Message Scams

"Ding."

You reach for your phone after it sounds its usual text message notification. And, if you’re like most of us, you will open it (texts have a 98% open rate), and you will respond quickly (we answer texts within 90 seconds).

Read on for how "smishing" attacks take advantage of our texting habits.

HOW IT WORKS

  • The text message throws you into an emotional state — fear that your bank account has been hacked, excitement to answer a survey to claim $100, or perhaps worry that your utilities are about to get cut off.
  • The text will offer a solution — "click here" or call a certain number

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Text message scams (or "smishing", a play on Short Message Service) are on the rise, according to the call-blocking service Robokiller, outnumbering fraudulent phone calls.
  • Because we tend to respond so quickly to texts, we are a click or a phone call away from having our money or sensitive data stolen.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  • When you hear that familiar ding, start getting into the habit of pausing before reacting.
  • If you think the text may be real, contact the sender in a way you know to be legitimate (for example, a phone number on a recent statement, or by logging in to an existing account you may have with the alleged sender).
  • Avoid responding with "STOP" if prompted to; it simply proves your number is active and it will be sold to other scammers.
  • Look into how to block unwanted texts on your device or through your service provider.
  • Forward spam and scam texts to 7726 (SPAM), the spam reporting service run by the mobile phone industry.

 

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