SMS & Smishing
August 7, 2023
We are all aware of email scams and phishing, but newer to the world of scam artists is text message-based phishing, or Smishing (SMS + Phishing). You may receive text messages from unknown numbers, or even from your own number!, offering gifts and prizes or baiting you into a concerning situation. Ever received a text saying your package cannot be delivered as addressed while asking you to follow a link to clear up the mistake? Or perhaps that your bank account has been hacked and to please call the fraud number listed in the text?
These are common scam methods!
How to Protect Yourself From Smishing
If you ever receive a text message calling you to action on a missing package, banking issues, or similarly suspicious problems, here are 3 steps to protect yourself from fraud.
- Never click on a link that you have not verified first or that you are not expecting. Here are two ways to assess if a url can be trusted (When in doubt, do not follow a link from a text message).
- Assess if the url has a misspelling of a well-known website? (Such as Micorsoft)
- Assess if the url is from a suspicious external domain? (like micorsoft-support.com rather than microsoft.com)
Never call a number you do not recognize and cannot verify online. Most, if not all, customer service numbers can be verified on the website of the bank, business, or entity in question. When in doubt, call the number from the website and request information on the text in question.
Never provide sensitive information over the phone to anyone from an unprompted text message. If you are concerned about account information or similar, call those establishments directly from the number listed on their website.