Smishing scams – are you clued up?
“SMS phishing” scams – AKA “smishing scams” are nothing new, but they are getting more common and, in some cases, more convincing.
Typically, the messages appear to come from a legitimate, trusted organisation: HMRC, your bank or mobile phone provider, for instance. While some examples of these scams are ridiculous, such as that depicted above, in many cases the texts come through as part of an existing text chain and from a verified number, often making them very difficult to spot.
Smishing is an easy route in for scammers to steal money and identities and often catch victims off guard. With most of our lives now occurring online, it is vital to be hyper-vigilant and know how to spot scam texts.
How then, how can you avoid becoming a victim of a smishing scam?
- Never take any text at face value – especially when it involves your bank or other sensitive personal information. Against a backdrop of spiraling fraud, a good rule of thumb is to be suspicious until proven otherwise
- Texts attempting to panic you or rush you into action are likely a scam. Stop and pause before entering any details
- Always independently verify everything by phone with the organisation supposedly texting you before sharing any further details. Your bank will never demand instant action from you via text, but an ingenuine source likely will
- Even if you have reason to believe the text is from a genuine source, be mindful of responding or following any links
Mike LaCorte, CEO at Conflict International, comments: “It might sound like common sense, but with more scammers coming out of the woodwork with increasingly sophisticated scams, it is important to trust no-one prior to confirming legitimacy. Not all scams are easy to spot, so adapting behaviour will be vital in protecting against fraud.”
If think you’ve been a victim of fraud or just want a no obligation chat, don’t hesitate to get in touch via [email protected] to explore your options.