Florida attorney general warns of bank ‘smishing’ schemes

Consumer alert from the Florida Attorney General
Consumer alert from the Florida Attorney General(Florida Attorney General)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 12:47 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - This National Consumer Protection Week, Attorney General Ashley Moody is warning Floridians of smishing scams, involving phony text messages targeting bank or credit union customers.

“Smishing scams are designed to entice and deceive cellphone users with urgent messages. Receiving a notification, fraudulent or not, that you are supposedly making an unauthorized transfer is terrifying,” Moody said. It can be easy to be tricked when these alarming messages are received. Read our tips on how to handle these situations and stay protected against financial-institution smishing scams.”

Financial institutions will never ask for account numbers, PIN numbers, CVV codes or full Social Security numbers in a text or email. Any attempted contact through these means is a scam. Attorney General Moody wants to make sure that all Floridians know the proper steps to take when a fraudulent text message is received from a scammer posing as a financial institution.

Below is an example of a credit-union smishing scam:

Example of a smishing text
Example of a smishing text(Florida Attorney General)

Tips on how to stay protected from financial-institution smishing scams:

  • Do not click on links in robotexts—they often contain malware or other material
  • Refrain from responding, even if prompted to reply ‘NO’, as responding alerts the scammer that the number is active, which could result in scammers texting and calling more frequently
  • Never send personal or financial information to an unknown text
  • Be wary of Caller ID since it can be spoofed to look like a trusted source. If you receive a call claiming to be from a financial institution requesting to confirm recent activity, hang up and dial the telephone number found on the back of a debit or credit card
  • Report possible fraudulent messages directly to financial institution being spoofed

In December 2021, Attorney General Moody released a Consumer Alert regarding robotexts surpassing robocalls as the most prevalent form of scam messaging. To read the alert with tips on how to avoid falling victim to illegal robotexts, click here. To view other recent Consumer Alerts, visit our Consumer Alert webpage at MyFloridaLegal.com/ConsumerAlert.

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