Everyday Fraudsters are looking for ways to gain access to people’s personal information. One of the ways they do this is by sending illegitimate text messages to people attempting to trick them into handing over their important personal information. This is also known as “Smishing”.
What is smishing?
Smishing is a form of fraud done through texting.
This fraud technique uses misleading messaging, often pretending to be from your financial institution or government agencies, informing you of account suspensions, or competitions and giveaways. These messages usually request you to click on a link and provide your personal or account information.
How can I Identify that a text is smishing?
There are five red flags to look for when identifying smishing texts.
- The message contains a link or downloadable file that you weren’t expecting
- There is an urgent plea for help, usually in the form of money
- There is a congratulations on winning a contest you didn’t enter
- There is an urgent request for you to verify personal information via a link or automated phone number
- There are spelling mistakes in the text message or URL
Examples of what smishing looks like:
- “NECU: We have temporarily locked your NECU card due to unauthorized transactions. To unlock, verify now – https://knittedwears[.]com.ng/-/necu”
- “You have won $5,000. The prize needs to be claimed ASAP. Please reply with your bank information so we can deposit the money into your account.”
- “Your package has been lost. Please click here for more information: http://bit.ly/123Rd4m”
- “Your IRS tax refund has been denied. Click here to file a review in 24 hours: http://bit.ly/sdfsdd5”
What should I do if I’m targeted?
- Do NOT open an unsolicited text message. If it says it’s from a company, look up the company’s phone number online or call the company directly to ask about the message.
- Do NOT open an attachment or link from a sender you’re not familiar with.