You’ve heard of phishing I’m sure, where a criminal sends an email pretending to be someone else, to try and get info out of you.
But have you heard about the new kid in town?
Yep. It sounds… like nonsense really. But trust me when I say you want to avoid it.
It’s SMS phishing. So basically, a text message that’s a phishing scam.
It works in the same way as a phishing email. You get a message, click the link and BANG, you’ve given someone access to data that you needed to keep private.
And just like the emails, many of these texts are convincing. You need to have your wits about you and know how to spot the signs of a dodgy text.
First, does it look genuine? Are there spelling errors? Is the grammar poor? Has it come from a random number or is it a sender you recognize?
Often a scammer will make little mistakes that really give the game away. But not always.
Also beware of messages from your bank, or PayPal for example, that don’t address you by name. When was the last time you were addressed by your bank as ‘Customer’?
Is the message warning you of a risk to your account? Closure or perhaps suspicious activity?
They’re looking to panic you into clicking the link and entering your details so that they can access your real account.
If you’re unsure whether to take action, either call the company in question, or go to the usual log in page and check for yourself. Don’t click on any links in the text, and don’t call any numbers from the text. Use the real, secured website to stay safe.
Forward the text to 7726. This is how you report a spam text to Ofcom. You should receive an automated message in return with a link for further advice if you need it.
Finally, don’t respond to the text. It might seem funny to try and call the scammer out, but it just means that you’ll be targeted again and again because they can see that your number is active. Ignore and delete. And block the number for good measure.
One last point: don’t forget to tell your team! Just because you know what to look for, it doesn’t mean one of them won’t fall for a scam and put your business’s data at risk.