February 10, 2023 • 3 min
As text messaging becomes more prevalent around the world, text message scams are also becoming more common. The fraudsters sending these messages continue to evolve their techniques, getting increasingly convincing to lure personal information. This personal information can be used to access bank accounts or other online accounts like your email.
Smishing uses highly convincing text messages to trick someone into providing private information or downloading malicious programs to a mobile phone.”
Another term for scam text messages, smishing — short for “SMS phishing” — is a form of phishing that uses a convincing text message to try and trick you into providing private information or downloading malicious programs onto your mobile phone.
Since we are on our phones so much, this fraud is especially insidious, especially because smishing messages often seem legitimate.
Smishing often looks legitimate and tends to prey on fear or excitement to encourage you to act. You may be offered free prizes, gift cards or coupons. Some smishing scams even promise to help pay off debt like student loans. Other smishing messages might say there’s suspicious activity on your account, contain a fake package delivery notification, or falsely claim there is a problem with your payment information.
Additional signs that a text is a scam:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends the following to help you avoid texting scams:
If you think you’re the victim of a texting scam, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency. Notify your wireless service provider and financial institutions where you have accounts.
You can also report it to the following government agencies:
We’ve all had that feeling—do I click on that? Who’s calling me? Learn what is phishing, how does it work, and how to identify and avoid phishing scams.
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