Text scams are quickly overtaking scam calls in conning unsuspecting people worldwide. Americans received an average of 41 spam texts in 2022, and the total loss due to scam texts was estimated to be $10 billion in 2021.
Smishing attacks are increasing as scammers find new and innovative ways to steal your personal information. And since most people rely heavily on their smartphones to stay connected, it's vital to know how to protect oneself against scam texts.
This article will cover the following.
1. What is Smishing?
2. How it works
3. How to protect yourself against scam texts
Smishing is an online security threat that uses text messages to target victims. Smishers (the perpetrators of smishing attacks) use phishing tactics to trick their victims into providing sensitive information or downloading malicious software.
The goal of a smisher is to steal your personal or financial data to steal your money or identity. So, they will try to access your passwords, credit card numbers, bank accounts, social security number, or anything else that can help them achieve their objective.
Smishing attacks happen in 3 steps.
Scammers send out seemingly legitimate text messages containing malicious links or phishing attempts. These messages may appear from a trusted sender, such as your bank or credit card company, and often contain urgent requests for you to take action quickly.
When you click on the link in the message, it can lead to a website designed to steal your personal information like bank details and social security number or download malicious software onto your device.
Once the scammer gets your information, they will use it to steal money from your account or your identity.
Several studies reveal texting to be more successful than emails. With scam calls creating a fearful atmosphere, people prefer to receive texts from loved ones or businesses, making texting a device for scammers.
Here are some other reasons why smishing can be very dangerous
People read 98% of texts within 3 minutes of receipt, and about 56% check their texts 11 times a day, making texting an excellent device for smishers.
Smishing is also challenging to detect because the messages appear from trusted sources, making it hard to differentiate them from legitimate text messages.
Scammers can use disposable prepaid or burner phones to send bulk texts to several people without being traced. The anonymity and freedom make smishing an attractive option for criminals looking to collect personal information quickly.
Scammers can use phone number spoofing to disguise where they are sending messages from. Spoofing makes it difficult for law enforcement and security services to track down the source of the smishing attack.
Here are some different ways in which scammers can access your personal information
Password reset smishing can be done in 2 ways.
Two ways in which scammers use taxes to con people are:
Follow these tips to protect yourself from smishing attacks.
Never click on any link received in text messages without doing your due diligence. Watch out for typos, spelling errors, errors in names, etc., to indicate a scam text, block the sender and report them immediately.
Do not download any app via a text message. The most reliable way to download apps would be the Google play store for Android devices or the Apple store for iPhones.
Avoid sharing your personal information with anyone via text message. If a text asks you for personal information, block the sender and report them immediately.
Refrain from sharing your password or account recovery code with anyone via phone or text message. It could be a scammer trying to access your account and steal your data.
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Smishing is an online security threat that uses text messages to target victims and collects personal information like bank details, credit card numbers, social security number, etc., to steal their money or identity.
If you click on a smishing text, the scammer will know your number is active, making you the target for several more scam texts. They may also try to steal your personal information to steal your money or identity.
You can prevent smishing by following these tips.
Smishing can be a dangerous scam that can lead to identity theft and other types of fraud. Use the tips in this article to increase your awareness of smishing attacks and protect yourself from them.
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