Smishing: How to Avoid Falling Victim to a Growing Trend

  • Fraud Prevention
Sep 23, 2021
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Scams and fraud have always been an area of concern for consumers. Digital Banking has rapidly progressed with the onset of the pandemic, while scammers and fraudsters have also progressed in their efforts to get consumers to fall victim to their attacks. If you have a cell phone today, you have most likely received a call or text message from an unknown number. Calls may be easy to ignore, but scammers are now smishing: sending a text message in an attempt to gather confidential information. 

Being able to text your financial institution certainly has its perks, but how do you know if a text is legitimate or not? A new texting service is now available here at Dutch Point Credit Union, and we want to provide you with tips on how to determine whether a text is truly from your financial institution, or if it is a malicious attempt to gather confidential information. When a text from an unknown sender is received, especially if you are not expecting one, it is imperative to not let the body of the message (no matter how alarming it may appear) drive you to an immediate response. The most important step to protect yourself from falling victim to a texting scam is to think before you act. Some questions to ask yourself would be:

 

Does it make sense that I’m receiving a text from Dutch Point Credit Union?

YES! As previously mentioned, we can now text you, and you can text us! 

What information is the text requesting?

We may text you regarding recent debit and/or credit card purchases. These texts will contain transactions, merchants and amounts requesting confirmation and may contain the last 4 digits of the card number. We will never ask for your personal information without providing you with a secure link to communicate with us safely and confidentially. 

What information does the text contain, and what instructions are provided?

Aside from transactional information, we may request information or documents from you, if you have requested to do so via text message. We will never send a link to verify a transaction, but request that you contact us for assistance or reply to confirm the transaction(s). 

What number is the text coming from?

Verify the number before responding! Spoofing phone numbers allows scammers to make it appear they are calling or texting from a legitimate number. Did you know you can receive an incoming call from a number that you are familiar with, but it could be a scammer on the other end? If you are not confident that the number is legitimate, simply do not respond! 

 

The convenience of being able to text your credit union can greatly outweigh the risks, as long as you constantly take the proper precautions. Always question the validity of a text message containing a link or requesting personal information. Spoofing incoming calls is increasing in popularity, however, if you dial out to the company, you can be confident you are reaching the legitimate place to verify your concerns. The best place to verify a business’ phone number would be their website, a business card or by visiting the establishment and requesting the information. If you are ever in doubt as to whether an incoming text (or call) is legitimate, the best and safest thing to do is verify. Do not click on any links, send or provide any information, until you have dialed out to the sender and can confirm the contact.

When in doubt, talk it out with one of our local Member Service Representatives by contacting us (via call or text!) at 860-563-2617 or toll-free at 1-800-842-1778. Web chat is also available on our website Monday – Friday during normal business hours. Debit card assistance is available 24/7, and our contact number(s) are also located on the back of your debit card. For after hours credit card assistance, please follow the instructions on the back of your DPCU credit card.

At Dutch Point, it's all about you. We empower you to make financial decisions that are right for you. We pledge to help you meet and exceed your financial goals through all the stages of your life.