March 25, 2009
Recent media and government reports point to an identity theft threat for the nation's millions of cell phone users. The scam has been dubbed "smishing", a term derived from the SMS technology that's used for cell phone text messages.
Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Although wireless telephone companies are working to block unwanted text messages, users are reporting increasing numbers of spam messages and smishing attacks. Adding insult to injury is the fact that users must pay for the text messages they get on their cell phones.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can help protect yourself from this growing and dangerous form of fraud.
Never respond to unsolicited requests for personal financial information received via text message even if the request appears to come from a legitimate institution that you do business with. This includes not responding to requests to "confirm", "verify" or "update" your information.
Always be sure of who you're dealing with. Don't click on links in text messages, or call numbers listed in text messages. Use the contact information on your debit/credit card or statement.
Monitor your credit report regularly for signs of irregularities. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit report agencies annually. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, call 1.877.322.8228, or write to:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
PO Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
Remember, Financial Center will never contact you via text message, email, phone, or any other way to ask for your account information or passwords. If you suspect you've been a victim of any form of fraud, contact Financial Center immediately at 317.916.7700 or 800.473.2328.