A “smishing” text that claims to be offering a payment from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) is hitting cell phones all around B.C.
Smishing is a security attack in which the user is tricked into downloading a Trojan horse, virus, or other malware onto his or her cellular phone or other mobile device.
The text alleges that ICBC sent you funds through an online transfer. The text mentions “Insurance of British Columbia”, but misses the Corporation in the name. The ICBC part does show up on a link in the text.
ICBC has confirmed to the Better Business Bureau that this text is not coming from the corporation, and that it has also been receiving calls from concerned consumers.
“Improper naming of the corporation 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 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 is another red flag. Don’t respond, just delete it.”
Government agencies, banks, or other legitimate businesses will never request personal financial information via text messages, so do not click on any links or call any phone numbers in unsolicited text or email messages.
Do not respond to the text, as this verifies that your phone number is active, which tells the scammer to keep trying. Simply delete the text, then report it to your cell phone service provider and to BBB Scam Tracker (https://go.bbb.org/2LkyoCG), so they know about it and can share the information.