With our world going digital, Smishers (SMS Phishers) are sending more phishing text messages than ever, tricking people into giving out personal information, gaining control of your smartphone, or accessing user names and passwords to accounts.
Why would a Smisher want access to your smartphone? Most people shop online, check their bank accounts, use home security apps, etc. on their smartphones. Your smartphone likely holds the keys to your kingdom. So how do you spot a Smisher before it’s too late? Here are some things to look out for.
- If you don’t recognize who is texting you, it could be a ploy to get your personal information. Keep in mind, organizations that you do business with will not text you and ask for personal information via text message.
- An appealing text message offer might have you thinking, I’d really like 50% off of those shoes I’ve had my eye on. Don’t click that link! If you get a text message containing a link from an unknown source, delete the message. The link could take you to a fraudulent webpage that is being used to steal your credit card or other information.
- “I heard you were embezzling money. I’m alerting the FBI, unless you pay $5,000.” Don’t fall for it, don’t set the record straight, it’s a scam. The Smisher is playing on your emotions. If you are embezzling money, you’d know if the FBI was on to you.
Not only are text message scams annoying, but they are illegal. You can report text phishing attacks your local authorities and the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Check with your phone provider to see if you can block texts from the internet, the origin of most spammy messages. Make sure you are keeping your phone software up-to-date and protect your phone number.