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Don't get 'smished'

Posted January 20, 2010
Updated January 22, 2010

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— A nationwide scam involving automated teller machines and cell phones has hit the Triangle.

Similar to so-called "phishing" scams in which people try to obtain personal financial information through what appear to be legitimate e-mails, the new scam, which is called "smishing" involves text messages.

The message asks for the person's account number and identification code to resolve the matter.

Anyone who sends the requested information receives a second text saying that everything has been taken care of.

One local man said $500 was taken from his account within a day of replying to such text messages.

Law enforcement and bank officials urge people to never disclose personal information in a text message that could be used by an identity thief, such as account numbers, ID codes and birth dates.

They also recommend locking the keypad when the phone isn't in use or, if possible, securing the entire phone. People should also frequently delete messages in case someone else gets a hold of their phones, officials said.

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  • htomc42 Jan 22, 2010

    Abuse and spam like this is why I have text messaging completely disabled on my phone.

  • WLDPIG Jan 22, 2010

    WELL LET ME TELL YA. MY PHONE WENT NUTS YESTERDAY, SOMEHOW OR SOMEONE WAS SENDING A WACHOVIA TEXT MESSAGE TO RANDOM PEOPLE IN NEW JERSEY,ARKANSA USING MY PHONE NUMBER AS THE SENDER. PEOPLE
    WAS TEXTING AND CALLING ME LIKE CRAZY. SPRINT SAID IT WAS A COMPUTER GENERATED SPAM. CALLED MY BANK WACHOVIA AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT IT. IT WAS VERY ANNOYING. WITH A BLOCK IT HAS ALMOST STOPPED. CONSUMERS BEWARE

  • blahblahblah Jan 21, 2010

    I received three text messages like this last week and I don't even use Wachovia! The messages each had a different phone # for me to call to give my ATM card #. Why do people still fall for this after all the press about not giving out any personal info?