Phishing and Smishing are methods criminals use to trick you into giving them personal financial information.
Typically Phishing uses an email message to gather information while Smishing uses an SMS text message to your phone. Either way, please take a minute to familiarize yourself and protect your computer from this potential crime.
The criminals are after details like credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information. They use that information to steal your money or use your good name to open new loans or credit card.
YOUR INFORMATION IS STOLEN
Both Phishing email messages and Smishing text messages are designed to fool you into giving your personal information voluntarily by pretending to be your financial institution or another company you trust. Usually, they will tell you that your bank account, your credit card account, or other electronic payment account, needs to be "updated" or "validated." The message will say there are dire consequences if you don't take the action – for example, the account will be closed or frozen. The message typically gives you a link or a phone number. You are told that if you follow the link, or make the call, the account can be updated or validated to fix the problem. It is your response that allows the criminals steal your information. The web site is a fake, set up to look legitimate; but, any information you enter is captured directly by the thieves.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF?
The Justice Department suggests three simple steps that will help you avoid being a victim of Phishing or Smishing fraud and theft.
To see an online tutorial about Phishing and Smishing and other financial education topics, follow this link: https://www.onlinebanktours.com/m/article.php?b=747&id=214