FL Attorney General warns of “smishing” scams targeting bank, credit union customers

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a consumer alert Wednesday warning residents to be on the lookout for so-called “smishing” scams.


Smishing refers to the act of sending fraudulent text messages that appear to be from trustworthy, reputable companies with the goal of getting the victim to share their personal information, like passwords or account numbers.

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As part of national Consumer Protection Week, Moody is reminding Floridians that reputable financial institutions will never request account numbers or other personal information through text messages or e-mail, and any attempt to do so is likely a scam.

“Smishing scams are designed to entice and deceive cell phone users with urgent messages,” Moody said in a statement. “Receiving a notification, fraudulent or not, that you are supposedly making an unauthorized transfer is terrifying. It can be easy to be tricked when these alarming messages are received.”

Moody’s office offered several tips on avoiding smishing scams.

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They advise people to never click on the links in automated robo-texts, as they often contain malware or other harmful software.

Even if prompted for a reply of “NO” officials say it’s never a good idea to respond to the messages, as that can at least let the scammer know that the number is active, leading to even more scam calls and text messages.

Moody’s office also warns consumers to be wary of caller ID, as that information can also be made to appear as though it’s from a trustworthy source when it’s not.

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For more tips on how to avoid text cams, click here.

To see other consumer alerts from the Attorney General’s office, click here.

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