SMSishing sounds a lot like another threat called phishing. That’s because it is similar, scammers attempt to get personal information from you in an effort to defraud or steal. The difference is that this problem is sent through text messages to mobile phones rather than email.

Scammers throw a wide net (millions of text messages) in an attempt at “hooking” a few people. In this case, the trophy is your credit card, PIN, and personal information. Once they get this information, it could be quickly used to access your accounts.

This issue can appear to be a very generic text message that indicates there is trouble with your account, and requests you call a number or click on a link to access a web page.

To protect yourself, you are advised to be highly suspicious when receiving messages directing you to call and provide credit card or bank numbers.

Tip: Associated’s consumer online banking system does have text message alerts that you can enable and configure, but we do not send unsolicited text messages warning of security issues.

Don't respond if you get a message – by email, text, pop-up or phone – that asks you to call a phone number to update your account or give your personal information to access a refund. If in doubt, cease communication and call the number on the back of your credit or debit card, or on your financial statements.

If you receive these scams, report fraud attempts to your cellular communications provider and local law enforcement, as they provide the best capabilities to stop this type of activity.

Read the article in the Security Center to learn more about the related threat of vishing.

If you have released any information improperly or believe you may have compromised account information, please immediately report it to Customer Care ( or call 800-682-4989. You may also use the reporting fraud link on this site.

To learn more about the related threat of phishing, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website Onguardonline.

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