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Don't Fall for Smishing: How to Spot and Avoid These Scams

In an effort to keep our members informed of current security threats, we wanted to let you know about a new trend we’re seeing from scammers who are impersonating financial institutions via text messages. This is what is known as SMiShing (SMS + Phishing), which is a cyberattack that uses misleading text messages to deceive victims. Scammers use stolen, personal information that they have gathered from data leaks and other sources to send targeted communications to their victims.

The goal is to trick you into believing that a message has arrived from a trusted person or organization, and then convincing you to take action that gives the attacker exploitable information (like bank account login credentials, for example) or access to your mobile device.

The best way to avoid SMiShing attempts is to never click links or reply to text messages from numbers you don't recognize. This may sound obvious, but oftentimes scammers will urge you to act or respond quickly, so you should stop and think about it before responding to the message. An example of this is the text received below, which claims to be from UHCU, alerting the recipient of a potential suspicious transaction on their account.


UHCU will NEVER ask for the last 8 digits of your card number, the expiration date, or CVV code. Additionally, you will not be asked to provide your login credentials for Online Banking. For more information on security questions, check out our Debit Card Fraud Monitoring article.

If you receive a text like the one above from an unknown number, DO NOT respond. Instead, ask yourself these questions:
  • Is the message urgent and requiring me to click on a link or provide account information immediately?
  • Have I previously setup this type of notification on my account?
  • Does the message sound like it’s from the organization claiming to contact me?
If any of these questions make you feel as if something is not right then it is best not to follow the directions in the text and as always you can reach out to UHCU via 512.435.4545 for additional assistance. When in doubt, contact the company referenced in the text separately to confirm if you received a legitimate text message.

Unfortunately, scammers are becoming more and more savvy with their attacks and consumers have to be as vigilant as possible. As a reminder, United Heritage Credit Union takes these measures very seriously. We are continuously working to update and enhance our security measures to stay on top of the most recent security threats.
Don't Fall for Smishing: How to Spot and Avoid These Scams
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