Smishing texts are harmful messages sent via SMS and text. Criminals pose as companies such as HMRC, postal services and banks in the hope that you click a malicious link or input your personal information.
How to spot a smishing scam?
Smishing scams are made to look like they are from a reputable company and often can be very convincing. They use realistic information and formatting which makes them easy to mistake as genuine.
Be sure to check the following before responding to a text:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes
- Scaremongering tactics to worry you into thinking your account is in danger
Smishing text example
Cyber criminals will often send bulk messages in the hope that at least one person will fall victim. For example, posing as a delivery company and sending a text that your delivery has been missed and you must input personal information and pay for a re-delivery.
If you’re not in and was expecting a delivery there is a chance you may click on the link and respond to the text.
What should you do if you are unsure the text is real?
Never click on any links in the text message or call any of the numbers on the text. Instead, find the correct number to contact the company on their official website (using a Google search) and call the company directly to query the text message.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to never click a link if you have doubts. Instead, delete the message and call the company for confirmation.
What happens if you respond to a smishing text?
Cyber criminals can be very convincing, using information they have gathered about you to convince you that a message is real and anyone could fall victim to an attack. To ensure you are doing all you can to stay safe if you think you may have received a smishing text, be sure to do the following things:
- Change your passwords for all of your accounts, including your email account and online banking
- Contact your bank and make them aware of the situation
- Contact the company who the text is pretending to be from