Yesterday I received a text that helped me come up with today’s topic. I have received things similar to this before, but not nearly as obvious. Check it out:
This is an example of SMS Text Phishing, otherwise known as a SMiShing (yes! It’s a real-world word, people!). The goal of these text messages is to trick you and other unsuspecting texters to go to a website and download a virus or malware.
You might think you are too smart to fall for something like this text I received, but obviously, people are falling for these scams every day or scammers would not continue pursuing it. Even when someone falls for it, they don’t often report it because they are embarrassed they didn’t know better.
Be cautious of messages from a 5000 number. For some reason, this is a common scam number that people fall for all the time. If you are not sure about a number, look it up and see what other people are saying about it before you hit reply. In fact, never reply to a number you don’t know that is suspicious. And never give out personal or sensitive information over text!
Do your research and verify before you respond.
If you get a text claiming to be from your bank, keep in mind that not many banks send text messages. If you are not sure if it is your bank, call them and ask, or review their policy. Better safe than sorry! And if you are at a good bank or credit union they are always more than willing to help out.
A common SMiShing scam is receiving a text from a company verifying you signed up for their services and that you will be charged if you do not respond. A lot of times they come with a /day rate. For example, “We see you signed up for our app service. You will be charged $1/day unless you respond.” They then direct you to a website to download a virus disguised as a cancellation form or such.
How to help Block Them
Most cell providers offer you the option to block texts from the internet. Most SMiShers will send text through the internet for cost savings and the ease of doing so. It also helps them hide their identity better. So if you are ok doing that, get all internet numbers blocked!
To Sum Up
Be smart and aware! If you are not sure you should respond, do some research before you decide if you want to respond or not.
If you are feeling ambitious you can take a test at the below link to see how good you are at spotting the Phish! The images are really small on the test so look closely!
Best of luck!