Smishing ranks high on the list of words that do not convey the same level of intimidation or threat as they should. Smishing is a cyberscam that combines the words fishing and “SM” for short messaging service (a.k.a. text).
Delivery smishing has gained traction, especially as online shopping has soared in the aftermath of the pandemic. Avoid becoming a victim of this type of cyberattack.
What does smishing look like?
You’ll receive a text message posing as a shipping company. You are informed that a package is on its way, but additional information is required to ensure delivery. “A package!” you’ll exclaim. Perhaps you won’t squeal, but you will experience excitement and click on the link to assist in delivering that package to your door.
Perhaps you are already anticipating a package. After all, PWC predicted a “dramatic shift” toward online shopping as recently as June 2021. According to the company’s most recent consumer survey, the following occurred in the last twelve months:
- 44 percent of those surveyed made an online purchase using a mobile phone or smartphone
- 42 percent made an online purchase using a smart home voice assistant
- 38 percent made an online purchase using a tablet
- and 34 percent made an online purchase using a PC.
As a result, you may not hesitate to click on a link that appears to be from a well-known delivery service.
What happens next?
When you click the link, you are prompted to enter personal information, including your credit card number or password. Otherwise, clicking on the link will infect your phone with malware. Without your knowledge, the bad guys use their access to snoop on you and/or send your sensitive data to its servers.
Smishing is a global scam:
- In March 2021, Royal Mail-related phishing attacks increased by 645 percent, to an average of 150 per week.
- UPS cautions customers against this type of fraud on its website.
- FedEx has reminded customers via Twitter “We never send unsolicited text messages or emails requesting payment, packages, or personal information.
- Suspicious messages should not be opened and should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Package delivery is not the only method of smishing. Additionally, you may wish to view:
- urgent messages informing you that your bank account has been locked
- a warning from your credit card company regarding a fraud aler
- an announcement that you’ve won a fantastic prize
- an unusual activity report from a company with which you have an account.
That should pique your interest, correct? So how do you deal with smishing? That will be covered next.
Defend against blemishes
Protect against smishing
Avoid being swayed by the SMS’s urgency or emotional appeal. Do not click the link or call the number provided in the message. Rather than that, peruse your bills or log into your account online to find contact information for that company.
Reputable mail carriers and financial institutions will never ask for credentials, credit card numbers, ATM PINs, or banking information via text message.
Take a closer look at the sender. A message from a number with a few digits was almost certainly sent from an email address, which is a red flag that the message is a scam.
Additionally, avoid storing personal banking or credit card information on your phone. That way, even if they manage to convince you to download malware onto your phone, the criminals will be unable to access it.
Contact us if you need help keeping the privacy-busting algorithms at bay. Our technicians can configure device settings to limit information gathered about you online.
Located in West Hollywood, Stan’s Tech Garage proudly serves the greater Los Angeles area. Call us at 323-761-2634 or schedule an appointment through our online calendar: https://calendly.com/stansgarage/