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5 rules to protect an online bank account

Beware of smishing
Beware of smishing © iStock

Beware of smishing

Mobile banking is generally considered safe. But online frauds like smishing are gaining some traction.

Smishing occurs when you get a dubious text message from a fraudster posing as a bank representative. The message may warn you of security breaches and ask you to call a toll-free number. Then you're asked for your account number and PIN.

"Someone in a foreign country is actually collecting the information," says Robert Vamosi, an analyst covering risk and fraud at Javelin Strategy & Research in Pleasanton, Calif. "Don't call the number on your text message."

Instead, treat it as an untrusted communication. Call the customer service number listed on your monthly account statement and verify the text communication, advises Consumer Reports.

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