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Blog > 2009 > May > SMSishing attack reported in North Centr...
May 20, 2009

SMSishing attack reported in North Central Indiana

Below is an edited Alert we received from the Indiana Credit Union League (used with permission). These types of attacks succeed only when consumers provide the data the fraudsters are seeking.

To:                   Fraud Alert Contacts

From:               Kay Neidlinger

Text message scams target credit union members

The League has learned of text messages circulating to customers of Centennial Wireless in North Central Indiana. In the messages, recipients are reporting that the texts contain one of two messages: 1) The recipient’s account is overdrawn and requires attention. 2) There has been fraud against the recipient’s debit card. In both cases, the recipient is asked to call the “credit union” and they are provided with a toll-free phone number. Once the call is placed, they are asked for personal information so that the situation can be corrected.

PREVENTATIVE METHODS

 

  1. Phishing, "SMishing," which takes advantage of SMS text messaging and “Vishing,” which has a phone call or voice element, are becoming all too common and frequently direct respondents to a phone number or Web site that seems legitimate but asks for account numbers, names, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or some combination of these things. 
  2. Remember that your credit union already possesses much of this information and WILL NEVER ask for it over the phone or Internet.  
  3. Delete suspicious messages. There is no threat of identity theft unless the recipient enters their personal information as a response to one of these messages. 
  4. Individuals who receive unwanted commercial messages on their wireless devices can file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). There is no charge for filing a complaint. You can file your complaint using an online complaint form found at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by e-mailing fccinfo@fcc.gov; calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:Federal Communications Commission at this address:
    Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
    Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
    445 12th Street, SW
    Washington, DC 20554.
  5. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) operates a National Do Not Call Registry. Consumers can register their cell phone numbers with the registry which will prohibit telemarketers from using automated dialers to call cell phone numbers. It could be helpful for members to register their home and cell phone numbers in this registry.
     
Kay Neidlinger | VP Communications | Indiana Credit Union League |
 

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