Smishing-the New Texting Scam

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Wednesday, August 1st, 2018  |  No Comments
Smishing

Most of us are getting better at recognizing a phishing email on our laptop but what about on our smartphone?

Yes, it’s true…cybercriminals have moved on to create even newer methods of evil and are now terrorizing your phone as well. There’s a special form of spam text that cybercriminals use to dupe victims into willingly giving up personal information.

Ever heard of Smishing?
Smishing, or SMS phishing scams are just like a regular email phishing scam, except that its on a phone. In this case, the con is to trick the prospective victim through a text message sent to their phone instead of an email.

This is actually an even more insidious form of social engineering than texting because texts are a more urgent method of communicating. It’s what the government sends out to communicate emergencies. (It’s Amber Alerts and fake missile warnings about to hit Hawaii kind of stuff)

When you get a smishing text, you will be requested to call a phone number, or, click a link to address a “phony” issue.

The scammers are waiting for you. A phone representative will be more than happy to con you out of your Social Security number, banking information or website login information. If you click on a link in your text message you will then be redirected to a fraudulent website impersonating your bank,  wireless service provider or sometimes even the Internal Revenue Service.

By clicking a malicious link you could also download malware on your smartphone.

The possibilities of extortion are endless…

Here’s an example: 
Let’s pretend you are duped into giving out your login information for your smartphone data carrier. A bad actor could then use that info to take over your account and steal your phone number. With your phone number in hand, they could then bypass other forms of security you use, like text message-based and two-factor authentication, to protect your online accounts.

With just a little information criminals can take over your almost all of personal accounts.

Tips to Avoid Smishing

  1. Ignore all texts from numbers you don’t recognize.
  2. Scammers can also spoof numbers, so even if it’s from a familiar number like your bank, call and verify before opening a link.
  3. Don’t call a number from a text. Check online or call information to verify the company contact info.
  4. If it looks fishy report it to your carrier.
  5. If you do click on a link sent to you through text, download an anti-malware app and run it to check for problems.
  6. Stay alert!

If you need assistance with cybersecurity give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 or contact us at [email protected]

 

Samantha Keller
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