Michigan AG warns of new text messaging scams called 'smishing'

Smishing scammers install malware on your device

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette sent a new consumer alert Tuesday morning that involves scammers targeting consumer's text messages.

The scam is called "smishing," which is when the scammer sends a text message to you appearing to be someone you trust. The scammer's goal is for yuo to respond to that text message with personal information, or for you to click on a link that installs malware.

A common scam involves a text message warning you of a "problem" with one of your accounts, and asks you for personal information to fix it. Some messages may even offer free gifts and trips. If you see a message like this, delete it immediately.

“Dishonest individuals are always trying to find new ways to obtain our personal information,” Schuette said. “My Consumer Protection team continually works to stay current on the latest scams, so they can make sure Michigan residents are aware of these scams and know how to identify the scams and avoid them.”

According to a press release sent by Schuette, people who have smartphones are three times more likely to fall for the scam than computer users, which is why smishing has become so common.

To prevent smishing scams, do not respond to any suspicious phone numbers. Instead, report it, delete the message and block the number. Also, do not share your phone number unless you know the person or organization well that you are sharing your number with. 

You can report scam text messages to the Federal Communications Commission online or by phone at 888-225-5322.

You can also report spam texts if you have AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon or Bell by copying the scam text and forwarding it to 7726. You will not be charged for forwarding the message.