Smishing Scam Targets Wells Fargo

Oregon Scam Victimized at Least 1 Customer
Smishing Scam Targets Wells Fargo
Thousands of cell phone numbers in Oregon have been targeted in a smishing scam that attempts to get victims to respond with account details related to their Wells Fargo accounts. The scam claims accounts have been deactivated, requiring immediate attention, says Bend, Ore., Police Lt. Ken Stenkamp.

Stenkamp, who says his two children also received the phishing text, confirms only a 63-year-old woman reported being victimized by the smishing scheme.

The text message asks users to reply back with sensitive information, including account numbers and PINs.

"If you get a phone call, a text or an e-mail, which are the general methods that they use in these phishing attempts, don't answer," Stenkamp says.

Smishing: How Banks Should Respond

Smishing attacks are low-tech schemes, yet they prove frustrating for financial institutions. Jason Rouse, a mobile security expert and consultant with Cigital Inc., says smishing, like most socially engineered schemes, preys on victims' trust. "So, the bank should issue very clear guidelines about the way it will communicate with customers," he says. "The must tell customers they will never ask for a password or information over a cell."

Recently, in Pima County, Ariz., police issued a warning about smishing attacks targeting mobile users. The warning came after a Tucson-area resident filed a complaint about a phishy text message that appeared to be from the recipient's financial institution. The text, which asked the account holder to call a specified number to resolve a possible compromise of his bank account, included the last four digits of the user's debit card, making the text appear legitimate. [See Smishing: How Banks Can Fight Back.]

About the Author

Jeffrey Roman

Jeffrey Roman

News Writer, ISMG

Roman is the former News Writer for Information Security Media Group. Having worked for multiple publications at The College of New Jersey, including the College's newspaper "The Signal" and alumni magazine, Roman has experience in journalism, copy editing and communications.

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