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What is “vishing” and “phishing” and “smishing”?

Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing. Vishing is the act of using the telephone in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The scammer usually pretends to be a legitimate business, and fools the victim into thinking he or she will profit. “Phishing” is a popular form of fraud that uses deception to get personal information from targeted individuals. Information that is “phished” includes:

  • Credit or debit card information, including account numbers and expiration dates
  • Social Security numbers
  • Deposit account numbers
  • User names and passwords

Phishing scams can be difficult to detect because the fraudsters present themselves as agents of a financial institution. Please keep in mind that neither Sharon Credit Union, nor any other legitimate financial institution, will ever ask you to divulge this information over the phone or through an email.

Here are some tips to avoid phishing scams:

  • Do not reply to emails or internet pop-up messages that ask for personal or financial information
  • Do not click any links contained within an email that you believe to be suspicious
  • If you receive a suspicious email or phone call, check the validity of the message by contacting the business using a phone number you know is real
  • Do not send personal or financial information in an email or email attachment

Be wary of any email or phone call that:

  • Tells you there is a problem with your account
  • Asks you to provide sensitive information
  • Does not include a phone number that you recognize to be genuine

Smishing is like phishing except the request for information comes as a text (SMS+phishing=smishing). Beware of phony account alerts on your cell phone. One example might be: “Your bank account has been accessed. Click here to validate transaction.” Clicking the link sends personal information to the malefactor. If a phone number is provided for you to call, don’t assume you are calling your bank. Verify the number before calling.

Protect yourself:

  • Don’t reply, respond, or click on links in suspect text messages
  • Call a verified phone number related to your account
  • Delete suspicious text messages
  • Never share your cell phone number on social media
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