Are You Aware of Smishing?

We’ve heard of scams. We’ve heard of phishing. And now, we must be aware of smishing, too.

This term relates to SMS phishing, which is the process of trying to access someone’s phone via a text message. It usually takes one of two forms. Firstly, it may try to persuade someone to download dodgy malware or something similarly harmful to their phone. Secondly, it may try to get someone to visit an external website given in the text, encouraging them to part with personal information or security information.

Are you vulnerable to smishing?

In truth, everyone is. Anyone can be caught out, which is why it is vital we all know how to avoid being caught. If you receive a text message on your phone that purports to be from your bank or building society, for example, never click on any link included in the message. Additionally, make sure you do not respond to the message. Delete it and contact your bank or building society directly.

Image courtesy of kelihope

The chances are the message is a fake, and you will have saved yourself from being caught out. If it is genuine, the bank won’t mind you getting in touch directly and you can sort out any issues that may have arisen. If it is a fake, you can give them the details and they can investigate it.

Hijacking a genuine SMS message thread

It’s not uncommon nowadays to receive text messages from banks and building societies. So, it is important to recognise that criminals can hijack these message threads to make their fake messages seem genuine.

Even if you think a message is genuine, always be suspicious. You could lose hundreds if not thousands of pounds if you assume a message is genuine, even if it isn’t.

If you have elderly neighbours or others who might be more vulnerable to falling for such scams, do let them know what they should and should not do to protect themselves. Our befriending scheme helps us protect the elderly and vulnerable throughout the London boroughs, advising on many topics and preventing them from being caught out in this type of scam.

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