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How to Avoid a SMiShing Threat

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 large businesses through text messages. This is what is known as SMiShing (SMS + Phishing), which is a cyberattack that uses misleading text messages to deceive 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 American Express, alerting the recipient of potential suspicious activity on their account.

If you receive a text like the one above from an unknown number, DO NOT click on the link. Scammers have been known to impersonate large companies such as Amazon and Netflix, along with financial institutions such as American Express, since many people know, trust and use them quite frequently.

If you receive a text message from an unknown number, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the message urgent and requiring me to click on a link immediately?
  • Have I previously setup this type of notification on my account?
  • Does the short URL in the message look like it’s from the organization claiming to contact me?

Remember: When in doubt, contact the company 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 measure very seriously. We are always working to update and enhance our security measures to stay on top of the most recent security threats. We hope this information is helpful for our members.

How to Avoid a SMiShing Threat