July 27, 2010
Tip of the Week: May 9th, 2010

Text Messages and YourPrivacy
By John Sileo

Just as you wouldn't want togive any personal identity information to someone via email, you wantto use the same practices via text message. There is a new wave offraud that tries to trick you with text messages appearing to be fromyour bank.

SMiShing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the "bait" whichentices you to divulge your personal information. The "hook" (themethod used to actually "capture" your information) in the text messagemay be a web site URL, like it is in phishing schemes. However, it hasbecome more common to receive a texted phone number that connects to anautomated voice response system. One version of this SMiShing messagewill look like this:

Notice - this is an automated message from (a local credit union), yourATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 866-###-####.

In many cases, the SMiShing message will show that it came from "5000#8243;instead of displaying an actual phone number. This usually indicatesthe SMS message was sent via email to the cell phone, instead of beingsent from another cell phone.

Once you take the "bait" and pass on your private information, it canbe used to create duplicate credit/debit/ATM cards. There are somedocumented cases where the information an unsuspecting victim gave on afraudulent website was used within 30 minutes#133;halfway around the world.

To minimize your risk:
  • Approach all text messagesasking for your personal information with a great deal of skepticism

  • Understand that no bank,business or financial institution will EVER ask you to divulge orconfirm your personal banking information over email or SMS textmessage.

  • If you have any question atall that the text is legitimate, contact your bank or financialinstitution directly using a published phone number (on the back ofyour card, for example).
About the author: John Sileo became America's leadingIdentity Theft Speaker amp; Expert after he lost his business and morethan $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients includethe Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To further bulletproofyourself and your business, visit John's blog at www.Sileo.com. To bookJohn at your next event, visit www.ThinkLikeaSpy.com. Permission granted for use onDrLaura.com.

Posted by Staff at 7:23 PM