Smishing is a type of cybercrime that involves the use of text messages or SMS (short message service) to trick individuals into divulging personal information or to download malware onto their devices. These attacks often take the form of phishing scams, where hackers send fake messages that appear to be from legitimate sources in order to trick victims into giving away sensitive information or to click on links that lead to malicious websites. Smishing attacks can be difficult to detect, as the messages may appear to be from trusted sources or may contain urgent or pressing information that prompts the victim to take action.

Examples of Smishing Attacks

Bank account smishing attack

One common example of a smishing attack is the “bank account” scam, where hackers send fake text messages claiming to be from a victim’s bank or credit card company. These messages may contain a link to a fake website that appears legitimate but is actually designed to steal the victim’s login credentials or personal information. Hackers may also send fake messages claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other government agencies, requesting personal information or threatening legal action if the victim does not comply.

Malware smishing attack

Another example of a smishing attack is the “malware” scam, where hackers send text messages containing links to download malicious software onto the victim’s device. These links may appear to be from trusted sources, such as app stores or software updates, but are actually designed to install malware that can steal personal information or compromise the device.

Telltale signs of smishing attack

There are several telltale signs that individuals should be aware of when it comes to smishing attacks. One red flag is if the message contains urgent or pressing information that requires immediate action, such as requesting login credentials or threatening legal action. It’s important to be wary of any message that requests personal information or asks the victim to click on a link, as these may be indicators of a phishing attempt.

Poor grammar and spelling errors

Another warning sign is if the message appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or government agency, but contains typos, poor grammar, or other errors. This may be a sign that the message is not legitimate and that the sender is attempting to cover their tracks.

Blocked or unknown numbers

Unknown, blocked, or incorrect caller IDs are warning signs of a potential smishing attack. If the message sender is not visible, it’s best to exercise caution. Be cautious of calls from unexpected area codes or foreign countries, and make sure to decline calls from unknown numbers.

In order to protect themselves from smishing attacks, individuals should take the following precautions:

  • Be wary of any text message that requests personal information or asks the victim to click on a link.
  • Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
  • Be cautious of messages that contain urgent or pressing information that requires immediate action.
  • Check for typos, poor grammar, and other errors that may indicate a fake message.
  • Consider installing antivirus software on your device to protect against malware and other online threats.
  • If you suspect that you have received a smishing attack, report the incident to your service provider and the authorities as soon as possible.

Smishing attacks can be difficult to detect and can have serious consequences for victims, but by being aware of the telltale signs and taking precautions, individuals can protect themselves from these types of attacks. It’s important to be cautious when receiving text messages and to be vigilant about protecting personal information and devices from cyber threats.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023

Smishing Scam Blacklist

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FAQ

Smishing is a type of cybercrime that involves the use of text messages or SMS (short message service) to trick individuals into divulging personal information or to download malware onto their devices. These attacks often take the form of phishing scams, where hackers send fake messages that appear to be from legitimate sources in order to trick victims into giving away sensitive information or to click on links that lead to malicious websites.

Smishing attacks often use fake text messages or SMS messages to trick victims into divulging personal information or to click on links that lead to malicious websites. These messages may contain urgent or pressing information that prompts the victim to take action, or may appear to be from trusted sources, such as banks or government agencies. Once the victim clicks on a link or provides personal information, the hacker may use this information to commit identity theft or other fraudulent activities.

If you suspect that you have received a smishing attack, it’s important to take immediate action to protect yourself and your personal information. Consider the following steps:

  • Do not click on any links or download any attachments from the message.
  • Do not provide any personal information, such as login credentials or financial information.
  • Report the incident to your service provider and the authorities as soon as possible.
  • Change any passwords or login information that may have been compromised.
  • Consider installing antivirus software on your device to protect against further threats.

To protect yourself from smishing attacks, consider taking the following precautions:

  • Be wary of any text message that requests personal information or asks you to click on a link.
  • Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.
  • Be cautious of messages that contain urgent or pressing information that requires immediate action.
  • Check for typos, poor grammar, and other errors that may indicate a fake message.
  • Consider installing antivirus software on your device to protect against malware and other online threats.
  • If you suspect that you have received a smishing attack, report the incident to your service provider and the authorities as soon as possible.

Some common examples of smishing attacks include:

  • Bank account scams: These scams involve hackers sending fake text messages claiming to be from a victim’s bank or credit card company, requesting login credentials or personal information.
  • Malware scams: These scams involve hackers sending text messages containing links to download malicious software onto the victim’s device. These links may appear to be from trusted sources, such as app stores or software updates, but are actually designed to install malware that can steal personal information or compromise the device.
  • Government agency scams: Hackers may send fake text messages claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or other government agencies, requesting personal information or threatening legal action if the victim does not comply.

Attention: Consumers who have been contacted by smishing scammers could have had their personal information breached. TotalScam!™ highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain an identity theft protection service immediately.

There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.

Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. TotalScam!™ receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.

Our investigations into Common Scams of 2023