The term “Smishing” describes a “phishing” (as in e-mail) like scam targeted toward cell phone users. The article linked here:
reports on how scammers are sending official sounding computer generated messages to cell phone users warning of problems with their bank accounts and credit / debit cards. The article indicates that the scam targets Bank of America and Wells Fargo customers. It is unclear to me if this scam is related to the Wells Fargo debit card scam that started this past summer here in Utah. In the later instance, the crooks were using automated calls to attempt to gain debit card account info from Wells Fargo customers. The ABC News video in the linked article indicated that the FBI recently arrested several individuals involved in a similar type of phishing scam being orchestrated from Egypt so hopefully these crooks are now off the street.
Wells Fargo Printing SNAFU
Wells Fargo customers should be aware that their account info may have been compromised due to a huge printing error that transposed front and back pages of various customers monthly statements. See here for more details:
The days of paper bank statements being mailed to customers is clearly numbered. Even without the printing errors they are a definite security risk. If you’ve not already done so I recommend you switch to paperless statements now to improve your security and reduce consumption of paper.
When in doubt?
It’s getting more difficult every day to determine what is and isn’t a scam. My basic recommendation is to be a bit paranoid. When in doubt, DOUBT! Don’t take the bait!
There is no such thing as perfect security but with reasonable effort you can raise the bar high enough that the majority of thieves move on to easier targets. Please review our Check List for tips that will help improve your security.