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ALERT: SMiShing Attempts Take Aim at Credit Union Members Nationwide

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ALERT: SMiShing Attempts Take Aim at Credit Union Members Nationwide

A SMiShing* scam targeting credit union members tell recipients their credit or debit card has been locked or deactivated and instructs them to call a phone number. The text message falsely claims to be from a credit union, among them. All of the text messages include the first four digits of the named credit union’s debit card BIN, and a phone number to call.

If you receive such a message, do not call the number or reply to the text. Never give out your personal information in response to an e-mail or text. If issues ever arise relating to your debit or credit card — or if you have concerns about your card status — call only the number(s) listed on the back of your card.

*What is SMiShing? (from Wikipedia.com)

In computing, Smishing is a form of criminal activity using social engineering techniques similar to phishing. The name is derived from "SMs phISHING". SMS (Short Message Service) is the technology used for text messages on cell phones.

Similar to phishing, smishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the "bait" to get you to divulge your personal information. The "hook" (the method used to actually "capture" your information) in the text message may be a web site URL, however it has become more common to see a phone number that connects to automated voice response system.

The smishing message usually contains something that wants your "immediate attention", some examples include "We’re confirming you've signed up for our dating service. You will be charged $2/day unless you cancel your order on this URL: www.?????.com."; "(Name of popular online bank) is confirming that you have purchase a $1500 computer from (name of popular computer company). Visit www.?????.com if you did not make this online purchase"; and "(Name of a financial institution): Your account has been suspended. Call ###.###.#### immediately to reactivate". The "hook" will be a legitimate looking web site that asks you to "confirm" (enter) your personal financial information, such as your credit/debit card number, CVV code (on the back of your credit card), your ATM card PIN, SSN, email address, and other personal information. If the "hook" is a phone number, it normally directs to a legitimate sounding automated voice response system, similar to the voice response systems used by many financial institutions, which will ask for the same personal information.

This is an example of a (complete) smishing message in current circulation: "Notice - this is an automated message from (a local credit union), your ATM card has been suspended. To reactivate call urgent at 866-###-####."

In many cases, the smishing message will show that it came from "5000" instead of displaying an actual phone number. This usually indicates the SMS message was sent via email to the cell phone, and not sent from another cell phone.

This information is then used to create duplicate credit/debit/ATM cards. There are documented cases where information entered on a fraudulent web site (used in a phishing, smishing, or vishing attack) was used to create a credit or debit card that was used halfway around the world, within 30 minutes.

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