Scammers are tricky. They’ll send messages that appear to be from a legitimate company, such as your wireless carrier, bank or medical facility, and include a link asking you to verify your account information. The link then takes you to a site that may look real, but is actually fake. The object is to collect your username, password and other personal information for future use.
If you receive an unexpected message that includes a link, do not open it. If you happen to open it, do not enter any account details or personal information.
How to spot phishing via text
This is not an exhaustive list but some red flags to look out for are:
1 An unknown number, overseas number or blocked number, or any others that appear suspicious.
2. An email address, or link domain that doesn’t follow the regular pattern.
3.Spelling or grammar mistakes.
4. Peculiar fonts.
5. Anything that makes you feel pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
6. Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding. If the number seems genuine but the content of the message or call is suspicious ignore or hang up the phone.
7. Do not click any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
8. Check on the official website
How to protect yourself from text phishing scams
Use a text filtering app to block spam.
Use two-factor authentication for important accounts. This will keep your data safe even if your password is compromised.
Change your passwords regularly.
Be vigilant of offers or winning a competition that you didn’t enter; if it looks too good to be true it probably is.
Beware of any messages that ask you to: log into an account, reset your password, confirm a security code, or provide any other personal information.
Technology to help protect you
If you are an iPhone user, you can employ a security app to use in conjunction with Apple’s Message Filtering feature. This feature gives security apps access to your messages which means they can scan them and let you know when you receive a phishing message.
For Android phone users it is even easier, you can either use Android’s built in Spam Protection for messages or use a third-party call and messaging filtering app.
Some examples of filtering apps are as follows: