Not only do internet criminals phish your email inbox, they also send text messages to try their malicious tricks. Using text messages, or short message service (SMS), for phishing attempts is known as “Smishing”.
Lately, smishing scammers have been sending text messages that appear to come from your cell phone service carrier. The message claims they’ve been unable to process your recent payment. To avoid fees, you’re asked to log in and update your information using the link in the text message. Once you click the link, you’re brought to an identical, but fake, login page for your cell phone service. If you mistakenly enter your credentials, the attackers will have access to your real account, and therefore, your payment information.
Remember the tips below to protect yourself from smishing scams:
- Links sent through text messages are usually shortened. Therefore, you can’t see where the link will actually take you. If your mobile device allows it, before clicking the link, hold your finger down to see the full web address of where the link will take you.
- Always log in to your online accounts through your phone’s browser or through the mobile application you’ve installed on your phone, instead of clicking an unexpected link.
- Never use the same password for multiple accounts. If you did fall for a scam such as this you may not even realize it happened, but the attackers would be able to break into all of the accounts where you use the same password.
Stop, Look, and Think. Don’t be fooled.