One of the most common types of text message scams is the phishing scam. This is where a scammer sends a text message that appears to be from a legitimate organization, such as a bank or government agency. The message usually contains a link or a request for personal information, such as login credentials or social security numbers. If the recipient clicks on the link or provides the requested information, the scammer can use it to steal their identity or commit fraud.
Spam is annoying, but is more than just an annoyance. This litter of unsolicited messages can also cause harm by promoting services or products which allow for bad actors to defraud their victims, or to inject malicious files or code into their devices.
In this article we will look at both text message phishing and spam, and review how best to defend yourself against these attacks.
Text message scams, also known as smishing (which stands for SMS phishing), can be very easy to fall for. However, by learning about which signs to look out for, you can prevent yourself from falling victim to this type of attack and keep your accounts and data safe.
Many of the principles that apply to other forms of phishing also apply to smishing as well. For more information, check out our other articles on How to Protect Yourself against Phishing Emails and Why Phishing Emails Contain Errors?
Text message spam is also very annoying and difficult to prevent, but itself can also be dangerous. Spam is where somebody sends unsolicited text messages often promoting products or services which can turn out to be fraudulent. These messages can be irritating, and time-consuming to deal with, but always be cautious because they can also be used to spread malware and other malicious software.
Firstly, make sure you are able to differentiate between a text message from a legitimate organization and spam. Never respond to messages that you recognize as spam. Even if the message provides you a means to opt out of future messages, this can indicate to the sender that the number they are sending messages to is active. They might then send your number to other spammers. What you might consider is implementing a spam filter to reduce the amount of spam that you receive.
Secondly, be wary about where your phone number ends up online. If your number is publicly available, for example on social media or on a person or business directory, then it may be scraped by attackers and spammers. If you find that you are being made the victim of a large number of smishing attempts or spam messages, you might need to review where your number is available and remove it where necessary.
Mobile phones are an essential part of modern life, and smishing will always be a threat. In order to keep yourself safe against them it's important to stay informed on new forms of attack, to remain vigilant by remembering to carefully consider each message you receive, and to take steps to protect yourself and your personal information. If you do fall victim to a text message scam, it's important to report it to the appropriate authorities and to take steps to mitigate the damage, such as freezing your credit or changing your password for any compromised accounts.
Our suggestion: stay informed and take proactive steps to protect yourself, in order to reduce your exposure to these scams and stay safe in the digital age.
The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, reliable, current or error-free.
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