Vishing and smishing: The latest in scam calls and texts

Vishing (or voice phishing) and Smishing (or SMS phishing) are the use of fraudulent phone calls or text messages to trick people into giving money or revealing personal information. Over the past couple of weeks there has been an increase in these forms of phone fraud appearing to come from a colleague, peer, supervisor or department, and in some cases from President Henrich or UTPD.

Scammers will “spoof” a phone number in order to have it appear to be coming from a trusted institution, company or government agency to create a sense of legitimacy. You may be asked to wire funds, buy an extended warranty, be offered a “free” vacation, be asked to donate to charity or told your computer is infected and you need anti-virus software. There have even been threats of arrest.

As a best practice, email the originating phone number and a brief description of any suspicious phone calls or text messages. Then, simply delete the voicemail or text message. Do not reply or forward the message or click on any links in the text.

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