"Smishing" is a criminal sending you a text message to your cell phone providing you with a fraudulent telephone number to call in order to resolve some issue regarding your bank account.  These text messages are being sent out to thousands of cell phone users.  Many cell phone providers offer a service by which a text message can be sent using internet email address.


Criminals use blocks of cell phone numbers by area code for a targeted geographic area. They hope a small percentage will actually be customers and will follow their instructions to call the fraudulent telephone number connecting then to an automated voice system that will attempt to gather your confidential information such as SS#, account numbers or any other personal information.

Here is an example of a Smishing attempt,

February 1, Des Moines Register (Iowa) Police warn U.S. Cellular customers of text message fraud. Police in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and West Des Moines have received several reports this morning of fraudulent text messages being sent to U.S. Cellular customers from a company identifying itself as MetaBank.

Police are advising anyone who has received these messages not to call the 1-800 number listed or give out any personal information. According to Cedar Rapids police, the text messages tell customers there has been a security breach on their account and to call a toll-free number that asks for a credit card number and personal information. U.S. Cellular is advising customers to instead call 6-1-1, the U.S. Cellular customer service line, and information will be passed on to the company's fraud department.


Apple River State Bank and First Community Bank of Galena wants its customers to be aware of this growing trend in fraud. Apple River State Bank and First Community Bank of Galena staff will never ask for account numbers or personal information via e-mail or text message.  We are dedicated to the privacy and protection of our members while using our secure Internet website to offer convenient and safe online banking.