Posted on October 28, 2010 by Jennifer Pointer


 Photo is from the Point Loma Credit Union



A friend asked me if I'd heard of "SMiShing" today, and I had to look it up. According to Webopedia, "The term SMiShing was coined by David Rayhawk in a McAfee Avert Labs blog on August 25, 2006."  CNET explains:


A phishing attack making the rounds tries to dupe cell phone users into revealing their personal data over the phone. It uses SMS messages, which makes it a "SMiShing" attempt. It all starts with a spam text message purporting to be from a financial institution.


In this case, it's from a source identified as KeyPoint Credit Union, warning that an account has been locked and providing an 888 phone number to "verify" the account, said a CNET News reader who received one of the spam text messages on his Sprint phone.


When the phone number is called, an automated message prompts for Social Security number, credit card number, and driver's license number, he said.


Other similar scams, explains Consumer Affairs, try to make you think you've accidentally signed up for a service, and you'll be charged unless you respond to their text message, at which time they try to infect your phone with a phishing worm.


Most mobile phone companies have increased their security to help prevent SMiShing scams, but you need to take some steps, as well.  To protect yourself from these scams, simply don't reply to any messages from anyone you don't recognize.  If you receive a message about your bank account, for example, go to another device (e.g. your PC or laptop), and check on your account directly through your bank's website.  Also, do not keep messages or data containing account information on your phone.


Also, see  Phishing, Pharming, Spoofing, and Smishing




Jennifer Pointer


Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. 

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