'Smishing' cell phone scam targets text messages - FOX Carolina 21

'Smishing' cell phone scam targets text messages

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Smishing cell phone scam targets text messages. (FOX Carolina/ July 6, 2017) Smishing cell phone scam targets text messages. (FOX Carolina/ July 6, 2017)

If you just look around, you will notice cell phones are always in people's hands or up to their ears.

"I have two phones," Kelly Geppi said.

She held them up as she worked on her computer inside Spill the Beans coffee and ice cream shop in Greenville. It's also where she learned of a new cell phone scam called "smishing."

"It is a little scary for sure," Geppi said.

Smishing is similar to phishing scams, but instead of an email being the target, crooks are targeting text messages.

"I think people are getting smarter and better scamming and trying to kind of get into the resources that you have," Geppi said.

So with two phones - one for work and the other for personal use - Geppi hits delete if something isn't familiar to her. 

"I try to be safe from any kind of viruses or scams," she said.

That's what Deverne Werne says cell phone users should do. He's an Information Technology expert and Vice President of Liquid Video Technologies in Greenville.

"In this age you have to be digitally smart," Werne said. "They're pretending to be a government organization, or the police or somebody you might trust easily with your information like your bank or somebody like that."

He says smishing cell phone crooks are sophisticated and can easily hack into phones.

"If I pretend to be a phone tower I can get anything off that phone tower," he said. "There is no encryption between telephone companies."

Geppi believes the new information is an important message to use and share.

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