Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has issued a warning to state residents about a new text message scam called "smishing."
According to the AG, smishing is when a scammer sends text messages to consumers appearing to be from a trusted source. They are like phishing scams with emails, but instead come as text messages.
The goal of smishing is to get people to click on links that install malware or respond with personal information.
“Dishonest individuals are always trying to find new ways to obtain our personal information,” Schuette said in a release. “My Consumer Protection team continually works to stay current on the latest scams, so they can make sure Michigan residents are aware of these scams and know how to identify the scams and avoid them.”
A common smishing scam involves a text warning about a "problem" with one of your accounts or texts with "click here," "enter here," or other messages.
The AG office gives these tips to prevent smishing scams.
- Don’t respond to any suspicious numbers. Instead once you report it, delete the text and block the number
- Don’t share your phone number unless you know the person or organization well
- Beware of the fine print in user agreements for products or services that may use your phone number, like mobile apps and free ring-tone offers
- NEVER follow a text’s instructions to push a designated key to opt out of future messages