Security Alert: Protecting yourself from ‘smishing’ and ‘vishing’ scams

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Identity theft is scary and criminals are getting more creative with their tactics.

For example, they will contact your cellphone and pretend to be a company that you actually do business with.

The question is, how do you know if it’s a scammer or just a concerned customer service representative?

Criminals are contacting you the way legitimate businesses would by text or voicemail and it’s called “smishing” and “vishing.”

They’ll say things like “we’ve detected fraud,” or, ” someone’s trying to hack your account.”

Then they’ll tell you to call immediately so you aren’t hit with charges.

But be warned, even if the phone number on your caller ID is the company’s, bad guys can imitate or spoof the number.

“So if you get one of these phone calls, don’t ever call the phone number that’s provided in the voicemail message,” said “Go and look up the phone number for your bank or your credit card company or whatever company that they’re claiming to be and call that number and say I just got a voicemail–is there a problem with my account?”

If you get a voicemail or text like one of these, look or listen for two things: A sense of urgency and a consequence.

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