|Published:||Oct 27, 2010 3:38 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 27, 2010 12:38 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Con artists are going after your bank account. again Their scam isn't new, but the methods for getting your personal information are changing.
It's called "smishing," similar to the "phishing" scams involving e-mail, only these are sent by SMS, or text messaging.
It starts with a text message from an unknown number, playing on fears that your banking information has been compromised.
"The messages that I've noticed with the smishing are the exact same messages that are being sent out via email. Just shorter," said Stacey Payne with Lee County Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention.
Officials say the theives' goal is the same: get you to send back account information so they can steal your money.
Bankers warn-- don't believe it.
"99 percent of the time its not real because the bank's not going to contact you and ask you for your bank information. It doesn't stand the test of logic," said Florida Gulf Bank President Bill Valenti. "The bank has your bank information, it doesn't need to ask you for it."
Florida Gulf Bank doesn't currently have mobile banking, but is preparing such a service, like many of the national banks already have.
Some, like Bank of America, do send text message alerts; but it's a program customers need to opt-in to.
Bankers say its good for their customers to be skeptical.
"Every email they receive, every text message, they should question, they should not just take things automatically," Valent said.
"Doesn't matter if it comes in via email or it comes in through a text message or its a phone call and you don't recognize the number, the email account or whoever its from... delete it, don't answer it, do not respond," Payne said.