Skip to main content

3.10.2022 / Fraud Education

Smash Smishing Attempts

Studies have shown that most text messages are opened within 15 minutes of receipt. Text messages saying you need to reactivate a credit card or that there is an issue with your tax return quickly grab your attention. Scam artists have realized how fast people respond to text messages and target consumers with "phishing" scams via text message or SMS (short message service).

Text message or SMS phishing (sometimes called smishing) occurs when scam artists use deceptive text messages to lure consumers into providing their personal or financial information. They often send smishing messages impersonating a bank or government agency, asking consumers to provide usernames and passwords, credit and debit card numbers, PINs, and other sensitive information. The criminals then use this personal data to commit fraud. It can happen like this:

John received the following text message that appeared to be from his bank:

John – This is XYZ Bank. Your debit card has been deactivated. Please call 888-888-8888 to resolve the situation.

When he called the phone number, he heard a recording asking him to enter his debit card number and PIN. John hung up and called his bank directly. The bank representative said his debit card was working fine and that the text message was a scam.

8 Tips to Smash Smishing Attempts

1. Government agencies, banks, and other legitimate companies won’t ask for personal information, like usernames, passwords, PINs, or credit or debit card numbers via text message.

2. Smishing scams attempt to create a false sense of urgency by implying that an immediate response is required or that there is a limited time to respond.

3. Don’t “click” open links in unsolicited text messages. Clicking the link may infect your mobile device with a virus or malware designed to steal the personal or financial information stored on the device.

4. Don’t call a telephone number listed in an unsolicited text message. Scam artists often use email-to-text technology, shortcodes, or spoofed local numbers to hide their identity. Instead, use info in your records to directly contact the entity identified in the text message.

5. Don’t respond to smishing messages, even to ask the sender to stop contacting you. Responses to smishing messages verify that your phone number is active and that you are willing to open such messages. This may lead to an increase in the unsolicited text messages you receive.

6. Use caution when providing your cell phone number or other information in response to pop-up advertisements and “free trial” offers. This personal information can be sold and traded and make you a target for smishing scams.

7. Never provide your personal or financial information in response to text messages from unknown senders. Verify the identity of the sender and take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.

8. Use the same safety and security practices on your cell phone as you do on your computer and keep your security software and applications up to date.

Additional Tips To Keep You Safe When Using Mobile Banking Apps

In the United States, more than 70 percent of people do at least some of their banking online. Many people don’t realize the importance of taking basic precautions to ensure a secure mobile banking experience. Here are some additional tips to help protect you against most threats on both mobile networks and home internet connections.

Only download apps from reputable sources. Don’t assume that an app is safe just because you found it in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. While they regularly remove apps that could be dangerous, some might slip through.

Avoid using unsecured “public” wireless networks. If you need to access your account information, you should switch to another network. If you're using a smartphone or other cellular device, disabling the Wi-Fi and then switching to a cellular network offers more protection.

Use anti-virus/anti-malware software. Each day the AV-Test Institute identifies more than 350,000 new pieces of malware which emphasize the importance of utilizing anti-virus/anti-malware software to quarantine and remove harmful files.

Utilize device encryption and PINs. A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts information entering and leaving the virtual cloud network connecting your device and Wi-Fi network. A VPN is not a default setting on phones, so you will need to install an app.

Keep in mind that your financial institution won’t ask you for your username and password. A representative may contact you about suspicious account activity, but they will not ask for login credentials.

About Gateway First Bank 

Gateway First Bank is a leading financial institution that provides banking and mortgage services for consumers and commercial customers. Headquartered in Jenks, Oklahoma, Gateway is a $1.9 billion asset sized bank with a strong mortgage operation.  Gateway is one of the largest banking and mortgage operations in the United States with six bank branches in Oklahoma, over 160 mortgage centers in 42 states, and almost 1,600 employees.  Learn more at Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (NMLS 7233)

Follow Gateway First on Facebook (, LinkedIn ( and Twitter (

Featured Posts

Is AI coming for you?

Read More

Check Security Features That Help Protect You From Fraud

Read More

Don’t Fall Victim to Tax Fraud

Read More