Forget phishing, SMiShing is the con currently in vogue.
The scam involves a text message that tells you your bank card has been disabled and to contact a local number with a 703 prefix.
When you call the number, you’re asked to enter your bank account and PIN numbers.
Locally, the scam has involved the Loudoun Credit Union, and there are several reported scam victims, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
SMiShing is similar to phishing, except in phishing crooks use e-mail to attempt to obtain personal information from a victim. The term SMiShing is derived from SMS technology used for cell phone text messages.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Unit offered these reminders to help protect yourself from becoming a victim of the scam:
- Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal financial information received via text message – even if the request appears to come from a legitimate institution with which you have an account. This includes requests to “confirm, verify or update” your information.
- Don't click on links in text messages, or call numbers listed in text messages.
- Put passwords on all your financial accounts.
- Monitor your credit report regularly for signs of irregularities.
If you think you have been a victim of this scam, contact Investigator T. Ortwein, of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Unit at 703-777-0475.