WATCH LIVE: We are tracking severe storms as they move across the Valley

Smishing Becomes the New Phishing

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Internet scam artists have moved past your email inbox – because that was so two months ago – and are now targeting consumers through text messages. Although this scam has been around for a couple of years, it is just now becoming the new scamming ‘fad’. “Smishing” scams operate by preying on consumer’s sense of urgency. Examples of reported “smishing” scams could be your bank contacting you regarding an unauthorized charge or mystery shopping invitations that lead to shopping fraud.

The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama has been receiving calls from consumers claiming they have received a text message from a number claiming to be their bank informing them that their credit card has been frozen. Thankfully, these consumers did not bank with the specified company, therefore they did not fall for the scam. It is most important to remember that scammers are not specifically singling out any particular person, but instead, playing a game of chance by hoping that someone they contact is connected to their acclaimed company.

To protect yourself from potential “smishing” attempts, consider the following:

  • Use two-factor authentication. Two factor authentication is a two –step login process that provides you with an extra layer of security. In addition to a password requirement, the user will be required to provide a piece of information only they have such as a text message or phone call with an additional code.
  • Switch up your passwords. Make your password for each account different. If all of your accounts have the same password, once someone obtains it to one, they have the ability to hack into all of your accounts.
  • Contact the business to verify they contacted you. Reach out to the business provider over the phone that is contacting you via the internet to verify the email is genuine.
  • Consider how the organization normally contacts you. If an organization normally reaches you by mail, be suspicious if you suddenly start receiving emails or text messages without ever opting in to the new communications.

Source: KnowBe4 and

For more information, visit Scam of the Week: Phishing Moves to Smishing‘Smishing’ Is Internet Scammers’ New Favorite Trick. Here’s How to Avoid It, and What is a ‘Smishing’ Scam?

If you would like to report a scam, call your BBB at 256-533-1640 or go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, visit