How To Spot A Text Scam That Could Steal Your Banking Information

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Playing What Is Smishing? 3 Signs a Text Message Is a Scam | Former CIA Agent Jason Hanson
What Is Smishing? 3 Signs a Text Message Is a Scam | Former CIA Agent Jason Hanson Aired October 23, 2019

With the help of former CIA agent and author Jason Hanson, we've been schooled on email phishing scams, phone scams, password hackers and more.

Now, he's sharing his intel on the latest technological attempts to gain access to your personal information: scamming via text, AKA "smishing" (SMS phishing).

"It's when you get a text message, supposedly from a friend or family member, [saying] it's an emergency and you need to send money right away," Jason explains.

Text scams are extremely risky, as hackers are trying to gain access to your banking information. Luckily, these criminals "are not in the proofreading business," Jason says — so there are certain signs to look out for that could indicate you're the victim of a "smishing" scam.

Jason shares an example of a text he received, and points out the clear signs that it's a scam.

3 SIGNS THAT A TEXT IS SPAM

1. AN 11 DIGIT PHONE NUMBER

example of an 11 digit phone number spam text
Rachael Ray Show

"If you get an 11-digit phone number rather than a 10-digit number, probably a big red flag," the former CIA agent says.

2. GRAMMATICAL OR SPELLING ERRORS

example of a typo in a spam text
Rachael Ray Show

Look out for errors like this one, where the dollar sign is in the wrong place, Jason points out.

3. LINKS WITHIN THE TEXT MESSAGE

example of a link in a spam text
Rachael Ray Show

"They love to include links, so if you see a link in the text message, never, ever click on it. It is going to be a virus that infects your phone and may steal your passwords," he says.

The easiest way to avoid falling for a text scam — or any kind of phone scam — is to not open texts or voicemails you get from numbers you don't recognize.

Better safe than sorry!

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