Not knowing what 'smishing' is and how the scam works is exactly what criminals are hoping for. What I'm hoping is you'll take the time to learn how to avoid falling for this scam.

I learned more about Smishing, (SMiShing) scams from the Delta Police Department, who also offers tips on how to avoid being a victim.

This type of scam has been around for awhile and is a phishing scheme that baits you  through an SMS text message instead of email. The rise in popularity of smishing is due in part to more awareness of email scams.

The scam works like this. You receive a text from a credit union or similar business with a link to a phony website that looks like the real thing. You're asked to enter personal information which the scammer can use to steal your identity and your money.

The text may also ask you to call a telephone number. The person or automated system that answers will ask for personal information to assist you with what they claim may be wrong with your account.

The Delta Police Department says the best way to respond to texts like these is to call the business directly using a phone number you know is legitimate and discussing the content of the text with them.

Never click on the link, which in addition to sending you to a spoofed website, may also download malware to your phone. Also, don't respond to the text, call any number in the text, or give out any personal information including your name.

You can report suspicious texts to the police, and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC also has an Identity Theft website with information on preventing or minimizing the damage from personal identity theft.

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