The Better Business Bureau is warning Central Texans about a type of text message scam called “smishing” that has hit our area.

“Smishing” involves scammers sending text messages that appear to be from an alert from the victim’s bank. These texts asks recipients to verity account information by calling a number, following a link or texting back details such as a PIN or account number. They may even prompt recipients to download software that gives scammers access to the phone.

The BBB has some suggestions on dealing with these false bank alerts:

  • Ignore instructions to text “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. This is a common ploy by scammers to confirm they have a real, active phone number.
  • Forward the texts to 7726 (SPAM on most keypads). This will alert your cellphone carrier to block future texts from those numbers.
  • If you think your text message is real, be sure it’s directing to a web address like “yourbank.com” not “yourbank.otherwebsite.com.”
  • Call the bank or check out their website. If they have been targeted by a scam, they will likely have further information about it. This often includes an email address where you can send a screen shot or details about your scam text to help identify and stop the scammers.

You can also contact your wireless provider for information on false texts and how to prevent private information from falling into the wrong hands. The following are links for advice from ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint. You can also find information about scams and fraud prevention at the BBB Scam Stopper website.