Tech Talk Helps You Avoid Smishing Scams

We've all received one of those scam emails where a prince of some far away country asks you for your personal information, all with promises of sending you a truck load of money, no strings attached.

And all of us (hopefully) said, "Try again, big guy.  You can't fool me!"

But what about those weird texts that come through on your phone sometimes?  Those can be a little tricky because they seem to be coming from trustworthy sources...


These text, or SMS, messages are trying to defraud you though a smishing scam.

Stephen Cobb is a security researcher at ESET, a global cybersecurity company.

He said, “Criminals like smishing because users tend to trust text messages, as opposed to email, of which many people are more suspicious, due to phishing attacks."

He went on to say, "As smartphones are the primary means of accessing the Internet in some countries, this has tempted criminals around the world to invest in scams that target these devices...  That means there is no shortage of skills in this space, skills that criminals can tap to target cellphone users in any country they chose."

Well, now that you know they exist, you need to know what to do.

First, how do you identify them?

The texts will appear to come from some company or institution you know and trust.  They will likely have a link in the text that the criminal wants you to tap on and forfeit your personal info.  The message will make you feel like it was made just for you and it will probably seem urgent.


What should you do?

First, ignore it.

Second, if the problem persists or you want to guard yourself from future issues, there are a variety of anti-malware software programs that you can use to protect yourself.

Read the full story USA Today

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