Have you ever received unsolicited mobile text messages with an unfamiliar or strange web link? Well this is a trick to target recipients into clicking a link and sending the attacker private information or downloading malicious programs to a smartphone.
Fewer people are aware of the dangers of clicking links in text messages and they happen to be more trusting of text messages, so smishing is often a lucrative endeavor for obtaining credentials, banking information and private data.
Smishing is a form of phishing that involves text messaging. Victims will typically receive a deceptive text message that is intended to lure you into providing your personal or financial information. These scammers often attempt to disguise themselves as a government agency, bank, or other high ranking companies.
These criminals are looking to obtain your personally identifiable information (PII) such as: account usernames and passwords, Social Security number, date of birth, credit and debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), or other sensitive information. So watch out because this information is used to carry out other crimes, such as financial fraud.
– Verify the identity of the sender and take the time to ask yourself why the sender is asking for your information.
– And don’t click on links provided in text messages. Doing so can install malware, take you to fake websites that look real, and steal your information.
– Contact the bank, government agency, or company that the scam artist is impersonating so it can alert others and work with law enforcement to investigate the activity.
Delete text messages
– Legitimate companies will not ask you to confirm or provide personal information.
Block spam messages
– Call your carrier’s customer service number (usually 611) and instruct them to “Block all text messages sent to you as email” and “Block all multimedia messages sent to you as email.” You also might be able to log into your account and activate these blocks there.
Treat your personal information like cash
– Your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other personally identifiable information can be used to steal your money or open new accounts in your name without your knowledge or approval.
Review your cell phone bill
– Regularly monitor your bill for unauthorized charges, and report them to your carrier.