SMiShing – the newest scam designed to hack your cell phone.

Most people have heard of phishing emails.   These are emails that are from fraudsters and scam artists who send a malicious link in an email with the hopes that you will click on the link and BAM!!…they have hacked your information.   There are multiple forms of phishing emails and many designed with different purposes but all of them have the same purpose…to get your information.

But what is SMiShing?   Smishing is to texting on your phone as phishing is to your emails.  They are essentially the same but smishing is all through text messaging to your phone.  Let’s face it, most of us feel that a text is probably coming from a trusted source but that trend is over.

Hackers will send you a text that looks like it is coming from a trusted source like your bank, credit card company, insurance company, or any other company which you may or may not be familiar with.   The text may read something like: “Your account has been locked” or “A credit has been made” or “Confirm your payment” or any number of concerning and legitimate sounding notices.  There is a link to supposedly take you to the next steps to address the problem and that link is a virus, malware, or some other way the fraudster has now hacked your phone.

Once your phone has been compromised, the hackers may have access to all of your information including banking logins, credit card numbers, your contacts, pictures, anything in your phone may be at risk.    Cell phones and mobile devices do not have the traditional virus and malware protection available for desktop computers.   Clicking on the link in a smishing text is potentially opening the door to everything you do on your phone.

Read your texts carefully and even if it looks legit, you may choose the safer route and make a phone call rather than clicking on any link on your phone.  If you receive a text that looks concerning in anyway and it looks like you should click on the link…DON’T DO IT!   Find the phone number for the receiver and call them to handle the concern.  If you can’t find their phone number to call them, chances are they aren’t legit anyway.

As always, I recommend placing a “security freeze” on all your credit reports to protect yourself from new accounts being opened without your permission or knowledge.  For more information, visit www.illinoiscreditservices.com or call 630-427-8500

If you would like to review a copy of all 3 of your credit reports with credit scores we recommend this website:

www.getidiqreport.com

Here is a good article by Experian regarding additional information about SMiShing and how to protect yourself:

https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/4-ways-smishing-scams-can-get-your-money-or-information/?ty=na&pc=crm_exp_0&cc=emm_c_m_pro_9970120180703_mktfttLeads_20180703_x_101

Remember, be careful with your cell phones!  There is a lot of sensitive information in it and hackers and fraudsters may be trying to get it!