Smishing scams are on the rise, and it’s important to protect yourself from them. Fraudulent text messages are becoming more and more common, and they can be very costly for businesses and individuals alike. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 tips to avoid smishing scams. Stay safe out there!
What is Smishing?
Smishing is a type of phishing attack that uses text messages instead of emails in an attempt to steal sensitive information from victims. These attacks can be difficult to spot, as the messages often look like they’re from a legitimate sender.
If you receive a text message that looks suspicious, do not respond to it. This is the first and most important rule of thumb when it comes to smishing scams. Many scammers will try to bait you with a sense of urgency or fear, in order to get you to respond quickly without thinking. If the text message seems at all fishy, delete it immediately.
What are the popular types of Smishing attacks?
The most popular type of smishing attack during 2020 was related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These scams typically involved text messages purporting to be from a government agency or health organization. The message would often contain a link to click on for more information about the pandemic, but clicking on the link would instead take the victim to a phishing website.
Financial Services Smishing
Another popular type of smishing attack is targeting financial institutions. These scams typically involve a text message that looks like it’s from your bank or credit card company. The message may say that there has been suspicious activity on your account, or that you need to update your information. clicking on the link in the text message would take you to a phishing website that would steal your login credentials.
Invoice or Order Confirmation Smishing
Smishers will often pose as a company that you do business with and send you an invoice or order confirmation. The message may look legitimate at first glance, but clicking on the link in the message would take you to a phishing website. This type of scam is particularly common among small businesses that may not have rigorous security measures in place.
Customer Support Smishing
Some scammers will pose as customer support representatives in order to gain access to your personal information. They may contact you via text message or phone call, and try to get you to provide them with sensitive information like your credit card number or social security number.
Fake Job Opportunities Smishing
Smishers will often pose as a potential employers in order to gain access to your personal information. They may contact you via text message or email, and try to get you to provide them with sensitive information like your social security number or bank account number.
These are just a few of the most common types of smishing scams.
Remember Smishers will often spoof the sender ID of a trusted organization in order to gain your trust. They may also use threatening or urgent language to try and get you to act quickly without thinking. If you receive a text message that looks suspicious, do not respond to it and do not click on any links. Delete the message
Examples of smishing texts:
- “You didn’t complete your Tax Return, Click here to complete your filing”
- “Your shipment has arrived at your house address, verify your address to get started”
- Notice: Your CITI ONLINE Banking is locked due to a violation of our service, To continue using our service confirm your details at ct-errfix.com
- “You have won $15,000. The prize needs to be claimed Now. Please reply with your bank information so we can deposit the money into your account. Immediate deposit”
- “Your package has been lost. Please click here for more information: http://bit.ly/2022Z5G”
- “Your IRS tax refund has been denied. Click here to file a review in 24 hours: http://bit.ly/rem190SzX”
Smishing attacks are on the rise, and it’s important to protect yourself from them. Here are five tips to avoid smishing scams:
1. Don’t reply to the text message or call the number back – this is how scammers verify your number.
If you receive a text message that looks like it’s from your bank, do not reply to it. Banks will never send you a text message asking for personal or financial information. If you receive such a text message, call your bank immediately to report it.
Be wary of any text message that asks you to click on a link. This is a common tactic used by scammers, in order to get you to enter your personal information on a fake website. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of the link, don’t click on it. Instead, go to the company’s website directly and see if there is any mention of the offer or promotion.
2. Do a web search of both the number and the message content.
This will often turn up the results of others who have received the same message and can warn you if it’s a scam.
Never give out personal or financial information over a text message. This includes your Social Security number, bank account information, credit card numbers, etc. Scammers are very good at spoofing phone numbers and making their texts look like they’re coming from a legitimate source. If you receive a text asking for this type of information, do not respond to it.
Be aware of common smishing scams. Some common examples include fake offers or promotions, fake charity donations, and fake customer service messages. If you receive any text messages that fit into these categories, be extra cautious before responding.
3. Slow down if a message is urgent.
Smishers often use urgency and fear to try and get you to act quickly without thinking. If you receive a text message that is asking you to do something urgently, take a step back and think about it before responding. Is this something that the company would really need you to do urgently? Is there any way to verify the authenticity of the message? If you’re unsure, don’t respond to the message and contact the company directly to ask.
Scammers are constantly coming up with new ways to trick people into giving them their personal information. Be vigilant and never give out your personal information over a text message, no matter who the sender is.
4. Don’t click on any links in the message.
If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of the message, type the URL into a search engine yourself to see if it takes you to a legitimate website.
Never download attachments from a text message, unless you are absolutely sure that they are safe. This is another common tactic used by scammers, in order to install malware on your device. If you receive an attachment from a sender that you don’t know, or that seems suspicious, do not open it.
If you think you may have been the victim of a smishing scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and your local police department. You should also change any passwords that may have been compromised and monitor your financial accounts for any unusual activity.
5. Start Protecting your phone against smishing
Set up spam filters on your phone! If you receive a lot of unsolicited texts, there are ways to block them. These steps will help prevent many unwanted messages from reaching our inboxes as well as save us time so we don’t have to deal with any pesky offers or advertisements every day
- For iOS/iPhone
- Tap settings – scroll down
- Tap messages – scroll down
- Under message filtering – tap “Unknown & Spam” and toggle the Filter unknown senders switch. ” to learn more please visit “https://support.apple.com/en-eg/guide/iphone/iph203ab0be4/ios“
- For Andriod
- Open the Phone app
- Go to Recent calls
- Tap the call you want to report as spam
- Tap Block/report spam. You’ll be asked if you want to block the number.
- Tap Report call as spam
- Tap block
What to do if you become a victim of Smishing?
If you think you have shared your banking details or personal information with a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
You can also report the incident to the Authorities
If you think you have downloaded a malicious attachment or clicked on a malicious link, run a virus scan of your device with updated virus definitions.