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Cybersecurity Awareness Month


October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and one new scamming method people need to be on the lookout for is "smishing." The word smishing comes from a combination of SMS -- another name for text messaging -- and phishing. Scammers use text messages to try to steal people's personal information. Matthew Wilson, vice president of risk and administration for Oregon Community Credit Union, said fraudsters have different ways to scam people with smishing messages.


"[They] send you a message that is either going to ask you directly for information, send you to a website to have you put in information there or to deliver some malware payload onto your device," Wilson outlined. Wilson pointed out the financial industry has seen a notable increase in smishing scams. The U.S. Secret Service has also issued an alert about how such scams are on the rise. Jessa Womack, information security manager for Oregon Community Credit Union, said the urgency conveyed in the messages can scare people into responding.


"Any message that you get that has an action item, just kind of take a deep breath," Womack advised. "See if it makes sense to you. And you can always go directly to the website that you're suspicious of something going on." Womack added there are ways people can protect themselves. She suggested enabling multifactor authentication for the financial accounts, so logging in requires a password and either a text message or call. People should also monitor their bank accounts for suspicious activity. Wilson recommended if something does not look right, they should act quickly.


Phone & email scammers are worse than ever these days. Scammers pretend to be Banks, Charities, and even Law Enforcement Officers. Oregon State Police are warning people about phone calls from scammers posing as Law Enforcement Officers. The Oregon State Police has received a few complaints from the public about receiving a phone call from the “Oregon State Police” regarding IRS or Education loan payments. This is a #SCAM. With all of the technological advances, these scammers have the ability to fake caller ID numbers, fake personal emails, and even fake business email addresses. Law Enforcement agencies will never ask you to send them money.


Law Enforcement agencies will never ask for your personal information such as your social security number or bank account numbers over the phone or email. Law Enforcement agencies will never say you have a warrant or threaten you with arrest if you do not do a specific task. Never ever give out personal information over the phone, text, or email. If you truly believe a Law Enforcement Officer is calling you, call them back at their local Office or through that agency’s non-emergency number. To learn more about reporting a scam visit the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection page http://bit.ly/2K45BSe




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