Vancouver: A ‘smishing’ text is hitting cell phones all around B.C. that claims to be offering a payment from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). The text alleges ICBC sent you funds through an online transfer. It mentions ‘Insurance of British Columbia’ and misses the Corporation in the name. The ICBC acronym is part of the link you are asked to open.
“That, of course, is your first red flag,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “ICBC won’t send you money via text and email transfer. This is simply a phishing scam that could be after personal and banking information and even infect your mobile device with a virus. The sending number had a Saskatchewan area code, which of course may have been spoofed. Responding to ‘smishing’ texts may also result in unwanted charges on your phone bill. Just delete it.”
ICBC has confirmed that this text is not coming from the corporation and they have also been receiving calls from concerned consumers.
How to protect yourself:
- Government agencies, banks, or other legitimate businesses will ever request personal financial information via text messages.
- Never click on any links or call any phone numbers in unsolicited text or email messages.
- Don’t respond. Responding verifies that your phone number is active, which tells the scammer to keep trying. Just delete the text.
- Report the suspect message to your cell phone service provider.
- Report it to BBB Scam Tracker so we know about it and can share the information.