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Give Ya' A Little Smish!!

Give Ya' a Little Smish!
by Gary Woods

Iost of us have heard of Phishing, where someone receives an email purportedly from a company that they do business with telling them they have to click on a link to verify their personal data. Of course it's not really the company they do business with, and you can guess the rest.

Well the latest wrinkle on this scam is called SMishing and involves people receiving SMS (short message service) messages on their cell phones. One of the first exploits involved a message that purported to be from a dating-service web site. It said that the person would be charged $2 a day unless they visited the URL listed in the message and followed the steps outlined there to unsubscribe from the service. Most people are wary about running up excess charges, so upon browsing to the URL, the victims would get hit with drive-by downloads that installed Trojan horse software that subsequently would steal passwords and do other nasty things to their PC.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you receive one of these messages is that it's impossible for a company to add charges to your bill, unless you knowingly signed up for its service and provided a cell phone number for them to send you messages.

So if you get a message like this just delete it and ignore the instructions. If it keeps on coming report it to your cell phone provider.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc