Beware of Text-Messaging

on Wednesday, 20 March 2013. Posted in Identity Theft

Unethically creative identity thieves have a new trick up their sleeves: sending text messages to your cell phone as if they were a financial institution and asking you to ‘confirm’ your account number, PIN, or other pieces of information.

As a member of our credit union, you should know we will never ask for your personal information by email or text messaging. NEVER give private and confidential information over your cell phone’s text feature, and do not call the 800 number spam that text messages ask you to call. Here are other steps you can take to ensure you do not become an identity thief’s next victim:

  1. Be careful when asked for your telephone number. Giving your phone number in response to contests or online promotions can lead to unwanted calls and messages.
  2. Never respond to unsolicited text messages, it only lets the sender know they’ve reached a working number and may lead to more messages in the future.
  3. Consider blocking all text message services for your phone. While this may be somewhat inconvenient if you like texting your friends, it will protect you from this growing form of identity theft.
  4. Be cautious about the services you subscribe to.
  5. Be wary of urgent messages that request personal information.
  6. Report any messages that seem ‘too good to be true’ or advertise illegal items to your local consumer protection agency.

Many unsolicited electronic ads and scams originate overseas, often making it extremely difficult to track the responsible individuals. Take initiative and protect yourself by never responding to spam text messages.

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