Those seemingly innocuous nuisance texts you receive on your phone are actually far more dangerous than you may realize.
You are having a great day when out of the blue your phone goes off notifying you of a received incoming text message. It might be something as simple as requesting you to click a link to win a prize, get information on the latest COVID health options, or a job opportunity. Either way, they are all more scam texts and a fast way to a bad day. Especially since these scam texts are far more malicious than you may think.
How could a seemingly innocuous nuisance text be so sinister? The answer lies in the links that appear within the scam texts themselves. With one little click your entire savings could be gone, your identity stolen, or your physical location now made public. C-Net detailed that these little scam texts are on the rise and can be far more dangerous than typical phishing emails. Dubbed “smishing”, a combination of SMS messaging and phishing.
Most scam texts usually present themselves as such. Scam texts typically include content such as baits for cash prizes from major store chains, ways to reduce student loans, paying off credit card debts, and CBD vapes in new vaping flavors. Then, of course, there are the ever-so-popular scam texts about energy-boosting vitamins and health supplements. Either way, interacting with these scam texts never ends well for the recipient who engages with them. Unfortunately, though, they are getting far more popular with criminals in the cyber world.
It’s also important to note that malicious apps on your smartphone can also compromise your phone. Thankfully, however, security improvements by Apple and Google have made it far more difficult. Additionally, iPhones offer an added layer of protection because of the ban Apple has in place regarding side-loading apps. In contrast, Google doesn’t have similar bans or restrictions for Android phones. Ultimately, though, it’s best to remain diligent when receiving scam texts on your phone.
All of this heightened concern over scam texts begs the question of what as a consumer can you do to protect yourself from such spam texts and all the dangers associated with them? First and foremost, keep your personal information private. Do not share personal or private details over SMS text messaging. If you must share your personal information, request a phone call and provide the information verbally.
If you receive a text that feels like a scam text, follow your gut instinct and do not click the link. You can report the message by forwarding it to your spam (7726). If you are not certain if a link is truly valid. Go one step further by going directly to the company’s website instead of clicking on the suspicious link on your phone.
Also, do not engage with the original sender of the scam texts. It is exceedingly important not to engage with the scam texts sender because this signals to the cybercriminals behind the texts that you truly are a real person. All in all, the best rule of thumb is to not select or open any text messages you are not familiar with. Instead, delete them immediately.