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Every day cyber predators create new, deceptive methods of obtaining private financial information from unsuspecting individuals. A common practice is the use of text messages that prompt victims to click on internet links or send classified personal information electronically. Cyber hackers can pursue both your cell phone and your email inbox, so it is important to protect your information online.
Fraud schemes that target you via text message is called “SMiShing,” cleverly named after “Short Message Service” (SMS). SMiShing is an increasingly common criminal technique that imitates financial institutions and other trusted sources by sending fake SMS text messages. Cleverly written to trick users, these texts ask recipients to click on faulty internet links and/or call private telephone numbers that lead the victim right into the criminal’s hands.
Constructed to closely resemble legitimate website links and logins, subtle punctuation and character changes are made to lead users to malware-infested sites. Similarly, unverified phone numbers connect users to fraudulent voice automation systems, which typically request private information such as social security numbers, account numbers, passwords, etc.
When engaging in banking activity on a mobile device such as a cellphone or tablet, there are many precautions you can take to help keep your private information secure.
Sharing personal information with an unverified source can put your privacy at risk. By simply responding to a “SMiShing” text message, users confirm to possible hackers that the recipient’s phone number is live and possibly connected to an active bank account.
Hackers can easily disguise dangerous links to look as if they are legitimate by using normal URLs. If you receive internet links via text message, refrain from clicking and visit the primary PNC website for further information.
To best protect your personal and financial information, use extra caution when reading your SMS text messages and emails, especially those that request private personal information. If you are concerned that a SMS text message or email regarding your financial information may be fraudulent, contact PNC Customer Service at 1-888-PNC- BANK (1-888-762-2265) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn how to spot and report fraudulent messages »
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These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.
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