AG: New scam targets cellphone users - WNEM TV 5

AG: New scam targets cellphone users

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A new scam is targeting your cell phone.

Instead of getting you to answer a call, crooks are taking a more silent approach.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office issued a warning about smishing, where scammers use text messages in an effort to steal your information.

“It scares me a lot. You just never know these days,” said Jennifer Fisher.

It’s a new scam where a crook tries to pretend to be someone you trust by sending you a text message to get your personal information or to get you to click on malware.

It is similar to email phishing, something Fisher is far too familiar with.

“They got into my computer and called me, started asking me questions and had me believing that it was real,” Fisher said.

Fisher said while she never encountered smishing, phishing has landed her and her laptop at Device Doctors in Flint Township.

Store manager Trisha Elder said viruses because of email click bait is common, but with this latest scam people might not know they have even been affected.

If you are, there is something you can do.

“We would recommend that you do a restore on your phone. It’s going to wipe everything out of your phone. If you have your photos and your contacts backed up, you can get them back. Basically, that’s the only thing you can do,” Elder said.

Smishing has gotten so serious the Michigan Attorney General’s Office put out a warning this week.

Authorities said this common text message scam involves a text message warning you of a problem with one of your accounts and asks you for personal information.

Some messages may even offer free gifts and trips.

Elder said if you get this kind of message to delete it immediately.

“Just be aware. Don’t give out your personal information. I never put any of my banking information on my phone, really have to be aware,” Elder said.

Fisher said now that her email and computer has been compromised, she will be extra careful with her cellphone too.

“You know it’s just one of those things that you think, ‘oh, that’ll never happen to me.’ But then here I am,” Fisher said.

According to Schuette, people who have smartphones are three times more likely to fall victim to the scam than computer users are.

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