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Beware of Scam Texts and Phone Calls

SCREEN CAPTURE: Smishing example received on phone by a University of Florida student.

Have you received a strange text like this one (pictured)? Smish alert! Smishing and vishing are like phishing, except scammers use different devices to try and trick you into giving up personal information.

Smishing is done through text messages, while vishing happens through phone calls. Smishing attackers are also using instant messaging apps, like WhatsApp!, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook to reach new victims. What do they want? The same things that phishing scammers are after: personal information, account passwords, and your money. Often, scammers employ social engineering tactics by pretending to be someone you know or represent a familiar organization.

The best way to handle smishing and vishing attempts is simple: Delete the message or hang up! As an added measure, depending on your device and cellular provider, you may be able to block and report the sender. It only takes one click, call, or responding to one message to have your personal information stolen or credit card maxed out. And, if that stolen personal information leads to figuring out how to use your GatorLink credentials, then you, your friends, professors, and anyone else on the UF Network could be impacted.

If you are unsure about a communication purporting to be from a UF department–email, text, or phone call–you can always check with the UFIT Help Desk.