The next evolution of phishing, called smishing, uses SMS texts in an attempt to get victims to reveal personal information about themselves. The criminals, often targeting particular regions or area codes and sometimes using stolen customer phone numbers from banks or credit unions, will send messages such as “There is a problem with your account” or “To avoid being charged for …. Service, reply ‘STOP’ to this message.”

What should you do if you suspect you are a victim of smishing?

  • Do not download anything on your mobile device unless it is from a trusted source.
  • When making online purchases, use a legitimate purchase in the case you need to dispute fraudulent charges.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited text messages, or phone calls requesting personal information.
  • Never open attachments from your mobile device unless it is from a trusted source
  • If you are asked to act quickly or urgently, it should raise a red flag. Fraudsters will often create a false sense of urgency.

If in doubt, visit the FBI’s E-Scams and Warnings webpage: for guidance.