Information Security Hacks & Schemes

Smishing, Phishing, Vishing vs. Information Security HacksVia Smishing, Phishing, Vishing Oh My!

Keeping your information secure from breaches and other criminals has become increasingly difficult. Information security hacks have become so commonplace. The repercussions of the Target incident are far-reaching and costly. Here are a few of the most common types of scams used to lead you to inadvertently reveal your personal information:


This scam is often accomplished by hackers sending you a phishing email, or an email designed to obtain sensitive information, or a benign email followed by a phishing email. Read below to learn more about phishing emails.

  • They are often from a sender you do not know. So, hesitate before clicking any link.
  • They often request personal information. Do not reply to any email requesting your personal information.
  • They often have attachments, which you want to avoid opening.
  • They often contain obvious grammatical errors.
  • They sometimes include URLs that are not legitimate.
  • They often mimic companies you have a real relationship with, yet they will refer to you by the wrong name.


Another way criminals try to obtain your personal information is vishing scams. It is virtually the same scam as phishing, meaning the goal of the scam is to get your personal information. However, vishing is often utilized via the phone. In many cases, vishing calls act like a legitimate company and will ask you to call back. To ensure you are calling the real company, look up their customer service number instead of calling the number left on the message.

Smishing Information Security Hacks

This type of scam is similar in nature to both phishing and vishing, but it uses cell phones to try to get your information. Smishing messages are often sent in a text and will contain a URL or phone number. If you try to call the number back, there is often an automated voice response system set up designed to fool you into giving away your personal information. Many times, smishing messages come from a 5000 number. This indicates the message is from an email not another cell phone. It is best to not respond to any messages that could be smishing.

The types of scams listed above are all examples of potential information security hacks and identity theft schemes. Now that you understand what to look for, you can avoid becoming a victim. Of course, a regular shredding regimen for any paperwork with sensitive information is a must.

Besides phishing, vishing, and smishing… what other identity theft schemes have you seen?