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Officials Warn Cellphone Users of 'Smishing' Scam

6:18 PM, Aug 5, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY--  New York State is warning residents to be aware of text messages from groups pretending to be their financial institutions, utility companies or cell phone service providers.

Officials say the texts prompt recipients to click on an imbedded link or call the listed number. When consumers reply, they are then prompted to share personal identifiable information such as a PIN or social security number.

This method of scamming via phone text messaging is known as "SMiShing.

The New York State Department of State's Division of Consumer Protection provides the following tips for consumers to protect themselves against this scam:

• If you receive an unsolicited text from your bank or service provider requesting confirmation of personal information, do not respond or share any information. Legitimate messages from these companies will never ask for personal information.

• If you are receiving any messages of this nature, forward them to 7726 (SPAM) to have your service provider block their number from your phone. This feature is completely free to use.

• Even if you receive only one of these spam messages, we strongly recommend filing a complaint to your service provider and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/.

• If you want to verify the legitimacy of a message, contact your bank or service provider to see if they sent out the alert.

For more information, contact the New York Department of State, Division of Consumer Protection at (518)-474-8583 or visit their website at www.dos.ny.gov

Source: New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection

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