MCC Daily Tribune

Beware of smishing fraud

Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security. Smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message.

Many people have set up bank account transaction alerts as a form of protection. Scammers are taking advantage of this to gain access to your information and money. They use approaches that look real, urgent, and threatening. An example might be a text claiming fraud on your personal bank account, with directions to click on a link or call a phone number. The goal is to scare you into giving them your user ID and password and/or your banking information. Protect yourself and our organization by being alert to and cognizant of these attempts.

So, what can you do to protect yourself?

Here are some suggested tips:

  • Today's phone texts are the new form of robo messaging. They look real and their reference to a link or phone call are only a lure to have you provide personal and confidential financial access to your bank accounts. Never respond to a text by a financial institution. Use it as an opportunity to reach out to your bank and report the potential fraud.

  • If you receive a phone call from someone identifying him/herself as a financial representative looking to discuss a specific transaction or account, ask for his/her name and employee number. Then hang up and call your bank to report the incident and verify if such a person is on the bank's staff.

  • Lately there have been a number of scams suggesting that your bank is looking to verify your information to update a "Know Your Client" (KYC) requirement. You may be told that if you do not respond, your accounts will be blocked. A bank would never reach out by text or email to verify your identity or personal information. Rather, they would do so either by letter or in person.

The sophistication of fraud through technology and communication is rapidly escalating. The look and sound are so convincing that it's tough to know what is real and what is fake. If you haven't yet experienced such fraud attempts, it's only a matter of time before you will. If you ever have a question or suspect such activity, call your bank immediately.

Wirley, Eileen
Technology Services - AVP Office