Scammers turn to 'smishing' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Scammers turn to 'smishing'

(File/FOX19 NOW) (File/FOX19 NOW)
(FOX19) -

“Phishing” email scams have evolved into “smishing,” which is a form of text message scamming.

“Love you. Very little if any internet” is a real text message sent from a 14-digit phone number in an effort to elicit a reply from the recipient.

“You’re going to respond to a text that’s set up so that you get charged when you respond to it,” FOX19 NOW Tech Expert Dave Hatter said. “It’s some kind of online purchase or something and that would have to go through your carrier so there’s some variables to that.”

In “smishing” the scammers goal is to do one of three things:

  • Get you to reveal personal information (Account numbers, passwords, etc.)
  • Get you to click a link so they can hack into your personal information
  • Get you to reply to the text to charge you fee.

Hatter said scammers shy away from one-time fees and in many cases are looking for something more.

“[They want to] steal your identity or do something along those lines which can then be used to perpetrate many different attacks over long periods of time,” he said.

Commonly, "smishing" texts threaten things like immediate arrest by local police or promise to put a freeze on your accounts if you don’t act soon.    

Questions about texts messages such as these are best answered by looking up the phone number for the company/government agency/group and calling to see if the text message is truly from their office.

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