‘Smishing’ scams target text messages

NEW YORK — More scammers are ditching email for fraudulent text messages in a rising scam called smishing.

Cybersecurity experts say crooks are turning to text messaging because they realize more people are wising up to suspicious emails, whereas more people trust text messages.

Scammers are pretending to be banks, service providers,  grocery stores and more — sending people text messages with a link to try to get victims to click on it and type in sensitive information.

Experts say the text messages can often seem very real.

Examples, according to USA Today, include:

  • “Dear customer, Bank of America needs you to verify your PIN number immediately to confirm you’re the proper account holder. Some accounts have been breached. We urgently ask you to protect yourself by confirming your info here.”
  • “IRS Notice: Tax Return File Overdue! Click here to enter your information to prevent being prosecuted.”
  • “Beautiful weekend coming up. Wanna go out? Sophie gave me your number. Check out my profile here.”

Experts say deleting the text messages is the best advice. They say real organizations would never ask to reveal personal information by text.

Anti-malware software can also be installed on mobile devices.