Thursday, November 1, 2018

A caution....

Dwayne was away from the farm on Tuesday, and I got a text message that a debit card from our bank had been locked with a phone number to call. I texted Dwayne to see if he had had any problems with his debit card, and he had not... and then I remembered that I have a separate debit card from the bank. I went to the bus and checked to make sure that I had it in my possession (it was in my wallet), and then I called the number on the back of the card.

Turns out that the SMS message was phishing (or "smishing" is a term for using SMS text messages for this purpose). If I had looked closely, I would have seen that the "From" address for the text message was definitely questionable. Thankfully, I called the number on the back of the card... I was tempted to call the number that came through on the text message... it would have been easier than keying in the phone number on the card... if I had, it is possible that I would have inadvertently divulged information to the "smisher".

It struck me as interesting that this happened when Dwayne was away for the day... If he had been right with me (which is usually the case), there would have been a quick conversation, probably immediately recognizing that the text was phishing for information. But, on my own, I immediately thought that maybe it was a real situation where he might be having difficulty and that I may need to do something on my end... and thankfully did not do something rash.

Just a reminder to friends... don't call a number that is sent to you in a text unless it is coming from a source that you know and trust.  Don't click on a website link within an email or blog entry -- or make sure that the website that the link is going to open is correct. It is easy to create a link that looks like it would be good that actually takes you somewhere else...  For example, I created this one to fake you out:  -- It looks like you'd be opening a Walmart site, but in fact, it will open a Target site. On most browsers, if you hover over the link, it will show you the site that it is going to open if you click the link -- I was just checking and with the browser I am currently using (Firefox), it shows the site in the lower left corner of the window. It is frustrating that we need to make these kinds of checks, but, is unfortunately the case!

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