We are increasingly receiving irrelevant text messages on our smartphones. And while sometimes it may just be a mistake, in reality, it’s often smishing. But what exactly is this phenomenon, and how do you avoid falling prey to it?
Smishing is a form of deception: a variant of the better-known phishing, but via SMS. According to SANS, the run-up to the end of the year also heralds the start of the ‘smishing season’, in which consumers should be extra vigilant for false messages. The SANS Institute is a global reference in cybersecurity training and certification.
Threats pique your curiosity or seduce you – say, with the promise of money – criminals try to smish you into clicking a link or calling a number. The intention is usually to get you sensitive information and money.
The US Communications Commission (FCC) recently published a warning about the increasing threat of such smishing attacks via so-called robotexts and robocalls: unwanted, often automated messages or phone calls.
“A significant increase in consumer complaints, reports from non-government agencies for blocking robocalls and robotexts, and news reports make it clear that SMS is increasingly being used by scammers to attack consumers,” the committee concluded.