Potential SMShing, Spam Texts, and What You Can Do! - AmeriCU Credit Union

Phishing and SMShing

Potential SMShing, Spam Texts, and What You Can Do!


Smshing is a form of phishing that is related to an attacker sending text or SMS messages to our employees or members. The goal of these text messages varies slightly between attackers, however, the goal of the attacker is to generally try to get money, usually in the form of gift cards. Attackers will generally try to masquerade as someone you know, such as an AmeriCU employee. Check the following details of the message to help you determine whether or not the message is real.

Sender: Check the cell phone number the message came from, if this is a known contact, it will have the senders name at the top of the message. If the contact portion of the message is just a cell phone number, it is likely not someone you know.

Message: If the message sounds urgent or is asking you to do something that is not something you would normally do, this is a red flag. If the message identifies who the sender is, contact the sender on a known phone number or send an email asking if they sent the message. Do not contact the sender on an unknown number or any other contact method you received from the text message sender.

What to Do If You Receive SMShing Messages

  • Block the sender of the text message.
  • Delete the text messages.
  • If you suspect the sender has accessed any of your online accounts, you should immediately change the password from a trusted computer or call AmeriCU to verify your account information.
  • An attacker will often try to instill panic and a sense of urgency, remind members that they should always be cautious when it comes to private financial information; do not hastily comply with unknown people, no matter the urgency they try to instill.
  • Do not reply to text messages from phone numbers you do not recognize.
  • Do not share your login information or personal and financial details over text messages. AmeriCU will never ask for sensitive information via text message.
  • Do not reply with any “verification codes.” Attackers will often say they are trying to verify your identity by sending a code, but in reality, they are likely logging into one of your accounts and asking for the security code to get in.
  • Do not reply to messages asking you to verify unknown transactions, if you suspect there was an unknown transaction, check your account statement from a trusted device or call AmeriCU immediately.
  • Sometimes attackers will send you a transaction that looks or actually IS legitimate. Do not panic and reply, immediately call AmeriCU and have them review your account with you. You may also want to have the member change any online banking passwords.