Experts warn smartphone users to watch out for 'smishing' scams - WNEM TV 5

Experts warn smartphone users to watch out for 'smishing' scams

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With many smartphone users becoming more aware of cyber scams like robocalls and phishing, criminals now have another method of hacking your personal information.

“I definitely see more and more smishing attacks,” said Michael Wu an Old Dominion University professor

Smishing is a text message sent to your mobile phone. It usually says something about bank card deactivation or fraudulent charges.

The messages also include a web link or phone number.

“The goal is to direct the victim to call the criminal or to visit their malicious website. So, when you click the link, you download the malware and it will compromise your mobile phone,” Wu said.

The link opens the door for criminals to get your social security and credit card numbers.

Wu said smishing has been around since about 2008, but as the number of smartphone users increase so does the number of people sending these messages.

He said, unfortunately, it won`t stop with just texts. 

“We may even see some of the phishing messages going directly to your app,” Wu said.

Wu said the criminals usually generate random numbers to text and don’t target a specific group.

To avoid becoming a victim, Wu said verify text messages and don’t click suspicious web links.

Copyright 2017 CBS News. All rights reserved. 

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