This month’s Cyber Security Minute is focused a rapidly increasing type of cyber scam that doesn’t even require for the victim to be in front of a computer- “SMISHING” is tactic combining SMS Texting and Phishing used by scammers and which, according to Proofpoint Security, has had a 700% increase in attacks since 2021.
Why? Well, traditional phishing scams are all about capturing a victim’s personal information (things like password, account number or even social security number, etc.). Through the capture of such personal information, Scammers may gain access to things like email, bank or other accounts. Scammers may also profit from the selling of your personal information. Other phishing scams are geared to having victims download and install harmful malware/ spyware on your phone, which the can be used to steal your personal information without you even realizing it.
What to look out for? Types of smishing scams are ever-changing. Some recent common ones include:
- The “acquaintance” you’ve never met: Beautiful weekend coming up. Wanna go out? Sophie gave me your number. Check out my profile here: [URL].
- Your package delivery or pending: [Your Name], we came across a parcel/package from [a recent month] pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here
- Your bank account is closing: Dear customer, Bank of America is closing your bank account. Please confirm your PIN at [URL] to keep your account activated.
- You’ve won a prize: You’ve won a prize! Go to [URL] to claim your $500 Amazon gift card.
Bottom line, please be careful whenever clicking on or replying to any text message from an unknown sender; instead, DELETE the text message immediately. You can obtain more information on recognizing and reporting spam text messages from the Federal Trade Commission: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-report-spam-text-messages