Mobile devices are quickly becoming a popular way to shop and manage online account information. To keep your mobile transactions protected, please keep in mind:
- Mobile phones store large quantities of information. Treat your cell phone with the same level of care as your purse or wallet, and always keep it with you or stored in a secure location.
- Never respond to unsolicited text messages requesting personal or financial information, or click on links from unfamiliar telephone numbers.
- Use a passcode to protect access to the information stored in your phone.
- Follow our recommended email and telephone safety guidelines when using your mobile device.
- Delete any text or email messages containing personal or financial information from your phone.
- If your phone supports wireless network connections, only use it to perform financial functions when the WiFi connection is secured by encryption.
- Notify your carrier immediately if your phone is lost or stolen. If you can clear your phone’s memory remotely do so immediately, and reset any passwords associated with applications on the device (voicemail, email, banking applications, etc.).
Protect yourself from “smishing”
Smishing is a term used for fraudulent text messages that request personal information about you or your accounts (i.e. credit card numbers, bank account information, or passwords). The text messages are usually disguised as communication from legitimate, credible financial institutions with which you have existing business relationships.
If you receive an unexpected or unsolicited text message and you suspect it may be part of a smishing scheme, we recommend following three simple rules:
Stop. Smishers will typically include an alarming or enticing statement in their messages, with the goal of getting you to respond immediately. They may ask you to click on a link or call a telephone number; resist the impulse to react before you’ve checked the information thoroughly.
Look. Closely review any claims made in the message, and think about whether those claims make sense. Be suspicious if the message asks you to provide personal information like your Social Security number or any account numbers, user names, or passwords.
Call. If you’re unsure about a text claiming to be from a legitimate financial institution, contact the company directly to determine if they sent it. Use the telephone number printed on a billing statement or the back of your credit card.
Some common examples of smishing include texts that:
- Claim to be from a financial institution, but ask you to provide account information for verification purposes. Legitimate financial institutions already have your information in their records and will never ask you to provide information through a text message.
- Indicate you have won a prize or are entitled to receive a special offer, but ask you for financial information. While legitimate financial institutions may offer promotions, they will not require extensive personal or financial information to claim the benefit.