Sheriff's Office warns of cell phone scam

Identity thieves have been targeting residents with a scam sent to their cell phones, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Referred to as "smishing," residents receive a text message saying their Visa debit card has been frozen and are given instructions to call the number included in the text to reactivate it. Callers are then connected to a fraudulent "Security Department of Visa" and prompted for personal and financial information that can be used to access the caller's credit cards and bank accounts.

To avoid becoming a victim of "smishing," the Sheriff's Office recommends:

Beware of any text message requesting personal or financial information.

Don't call any numbers received via text message that you don't recognize.

To confirm whether or not your credit card has been compromised, call the company directly by using the number listed on the back of your credit card.

Contact your phone carrier to find out how you can report spam received on your cell phone.

To report a fraud or scam contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office Fraud Line at 239-477-1242 or or

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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