Nowadays, smishing is a global issue and is a growing concern as more and more people use smartphones to stay connected. People use smartphones primarily for banking transactions (online banking and paying bills), online shopping, ordering food, email communications, etc. This increased connectivity also exposes the users to cybercriminals.
Smishing occurs through SMS messages, also known as text messages that users receive on their cell phones. Smishing or text phishing is done to scam or manipulate consumers or the organisation’s employees. Such announcements usually contain content that provokes users to click on the link to quickly assess login details and other information. The information gained can then be used to access their personal or work-related accounts, commit identity fraud, or engage in other malicious activities.
On the other hand, phishing is the broad term used to explain fraudulent activities and cybercrimes through various channels such as emails, phone calls, or social media messages.
Types Of Smishing Attacks
They use identical methods, but the presentations may vary. Attackers use various identities and sites for disguising their attacks. Some of the common types of SMS phishing scams cybercriminals use nowadays are
- COVID 19 SMISHING
Covid 19 smishing scams are messages about schemes related to aid programs designed by the government, healthcare, and financial institutions. To commit fraud, they use victims’ health and economic fears.
- FINANCIAL SERVICES SMISHING
These are text messages posed by banks, investment firms, and other financial institutions to commit fraud. Financial services smishing might include urgent requests to unlock their account, and they may ask you to verify suspicious account activity.
- GIFT SMISHING
These are text messages posed as if they are from a reputable company promising free services or products. These can be in the form of giveaway contests, shopping rewards, or any other free offer. They attempt to excite you, thereby creating urgency to get you to click a link in the text message. Warning signs of such statements include limited-time offers or exclusive selection for a gift card.
- ORDER CONFIRMATION SMISHING
These text messages involve false confirmation of recent purchases. However, they provide the link and make the user curious, prompting immediate action for fear of charges.
- CUSTOMER SUPPORT SMISHING
They pose trusted company support representatives like Apple, Google, and Amazon as disguisers to help you resolve an issue.
How To Avoid Caught In Smishing Text
To avoid getting caught out, one should know the preventive steps
- DON’T RESPOND
Receiving the message will not cause any damage unless you respond. For example, suppose you receive a text message, whether it be on SMS, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Try not to click on the link attached nor react to such statements. This way, you will not get affected by the attack.
- KEEP YOUR PHONE SOFTWARE UP TO DATE
Another way to avoid being caught against a smishing attack is to protect your device by keeping updating your phone’s software and web browser. It will ensure that many smishing attacks get blocked by the security features built into Android, IOS, chrome, and safari.
- CLEAR YOUR DOUBTS
One way to avoid being caught in a smishing text attack is to clear the doubt about the message’s legitimacy. You should contact the supposed sender directly. For example, if there is a situation where you receive a text appearing to come from your bank. You should contact the bank through official channels directly. Avoid following the link that came through on the text message.
- AVOID RUSH REPLYING
In case you receive the message, avoid replying or following a link. We all use our smartphones speedily. In haste, you can overlook security threats and respond without paying attention, making you fall into their trap. These smishing text attackers are looking for a speedy response.
With some quick and basic web search, you will be able to detect the majority of the smishing attacks. However, like you, other people certainly got suspicious SMS as well. Therefore, by copying the text of your message into the search engine, you can find cautionary statements online.