Ascams are text messages that someone sends to your mobile number and receive on your phone, but they’re not the type you will welcome or look forward to receiving.
As the name indicates, they are schemes meant to defraud you of either money or personal data. Scammers will try to make it sound as if you’re eligible for a reward or other attractive offers so that they can obtain access to your data online such as your bank account, social media profile, and the like.
And if you’re not careful, you may end up sharing important information that scammers can use for illegal activities or transactions. They are always waiting for the slightest window of opportunity to carry out their trade, such as you asking them who they are or how they got your number.
To prevent SMS scams, you should never entertain or engage with any suspicious messages as this can tell fraudsters that they won’t be able to get anything from you. Here are things to remember and specific ways to protect yourself from SMS scams:
1. Scammers Will Come Up With Different Ways to Get Your Attention.
Imagine getting a text with news about a family emergency, winning a prize, or a credit that’s being initiated for your subscription. Unscrupulous people think that these are the kinds of things that will make you pay attention, so they send messages using these topics or subjects.
Needless to say, the trick here is not to believe anything without verifying the facts. For instance, if someone claims they’re trying to make a refund into your account for one of your subscriptions, don’t be quick to give out your personal information or details about your account.
Remember that even if you’re expecting any refund, your service provider should have your records on file and that they should credit it directly into your account.
2. Text Scams Don’t Bear the Contact Number of Legitimate Companies.
The bad actors behind SMS scams are individuals or groups of people who don’t have access to shortcodes used by reputable companies like a bank, phone carrier, and so on. These shortcodes are special 5- to 6-digit phone numbers shorter than the usual mobile phone number.
3. Scammers Can Add Malicious Links Into Text Messages.
Another way that SMS scams happen is when you click on a link contained in text messages. Once you click on that link, you’ll be directed to a web page that may look similar to that of a company you know or do business with, not knowing that it’s a fake site. You may be asked to submit your login credentials, which will give scammers access to your personal account.
Some things you should watch out for are a suspicious URL domain, unprofessional use of language, misspellings, and grammar errors, which are not likely to find their way into legitimate websites. So think before you click-this is simply what you should do when you encounter SMS phishing.
Get to know more about how you can spot SMS scams and what to do about them in the following infographic.