How to avoid the dangers of 'smishing'

TULSA - You may be more familiar with "phishing" -- fraudulent email messages usually delivered by email trying to get your personal information.

"Smishing" is a similar effort but it comes by text message, also known as short message service (SMS).

Common smishing messages will appear to come from your bank, a company claiming you've won something or an alert that you signed up for a service and have to take action if you don't want it.

Never reply directly to such messages or call phone numbers or visit web sites included in those texts.

Instead contact the bank or company listed directly through their main number.  You'll almost always find the text did not come from a legit source.

Delete without reading any text that comes from the number 5000.  This may be an identity that hides a crook's real number, according to security experts.

Contact your phone provider to report the possible smishing texts and also ask about setting up a text alias.  The feature hides your actual phone number from the smishing sender.

If you have any concerns about identity theft visit the Federal Trade Commission's Deter, Detect and Defend site.

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