And now there’s smishing

Or, perhaps more precisely, SMiShing, which is a phishing attempt using Short Message Service, a protocol used for text messages on cell phones. It’s not new, exactly, but anything that works once will draw lots and lots of copycats once word gets around.

Recent citations:

Fox Channel 2 in St. Louis … reported that consumers in the St. Louis area have been receiving text messages on their cell phones that appear to be coming from Arsenal Credit Union. Instead, these messages are being sent by identity thieves. The messages ask readers to provide information about their bank account, debit card and credit card numbers, so Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has put out a warning to consumers.

Earlier this month, the Web site of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General added information about three new identity theft scams — one involving text messaging. Here’s what happened: A text message in Spanish was sent to the cell phone of an elderly woman. The message provided a phone number and asked that she call them immediately, so she did. She was told she had won something and was asked for her personal information to confirm her identity. The woman’s daughter was in the room and suspected foul play, so she ended the phone call.

Smishing needs to be smushed, pronto.

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