Cybersecurity: Phone and messaging scams

Be wary of phone and messaging scams


If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from a reputable source who wants you to share your personal and banking information, it could be a “vishing” scam, a term derived from “voice” and “phishing.”

Here’s how it works:

  • A cybercriminal will call you and pose as a representative of a reputable company.
  • They will attempt to get you to reveal personal information over the phone or perform an action, such as transferring money to another account or sending your bank cards to an address they provided.
  • You could also receive an unexpected call about a refund or an issue with your debit or credit card. To fix the issue, they ask you to confirm your payment and bank account details.

What you should do:

  • Never share personal or banking information over the phone.
  • Hang up and call the company’s official number to verify that the request is genuine.


Have you ever received a text message from a number you don’t recognize asking you to do something, like provide your private or financial information? It could be a SMSishing scam.

SMSishing, a form of phishing, is when a cybercriminal tries to trick you into providing your personal information via SMS (Short Message Service) or a text. The name comes from combining SMS and phishing.

Here’s how it works:

  • Cyber criminals will send out text messages asking the recipients to call a number or click on a link.
  • When you call the number or click the link, you’re asked to provide personal information, such as your credit card or bank account number.

What you should do:

  • Don’t click on links sent by numbers you don’t recognize. Keep in mind that they might imitate numbers you do recognize.
  • Verify any request you get over text in-person or over the phone using official company numbers.
  • Avoid acting out of a sense of urgency or emotion. Above all, be cautious if something doesn’t seem quite right.
  • If the number isn’t legitimate, delete the text message from your phone.