The Rise of Smishing, Spam Text Messages and Text Scams

Topics: Small Business

Smishing, Text Message Scams and More

Smishing, spam text messages and text scams are common cyber attacks and they are on the rise. Typically, smishing scammers will send you text messages that attempt to get you to click a link and then provide personal or financial information about yourself.

Smishing is serious and can lead to identify theft. Smishing is a term used to describe phishing attempts and scams that use text messages or SMS as the primary attack platform. Smishing is used to gather different types of personal information, including address, credit card information and more.

Spam texts are messages sent by hackers, which attempt to get you to click on a link or divulge personal details such as banking information, credit cards, address or even your Social Security number.

How to Identify a Fake Text Message

Spam and smishing messages can be easily identified if you know what to look for. Below are some ways that you can spot texting scams and manage your personal and company’s cyber risk:

The Message has No Relevance to You

The message is completely random, unprompted, and has no connection to you or any activity you have undertaken. The fake text message will say you have won a contest, a prize or free money. An increasingly popular text scam is one that says there is a delivery issue with a package.

The Message is Urgent or Needs Immediate Action From You

The message is urging you to act now. These types of fake text messages could pretend to be your bank or a government agency.

The Text Message Contains Misspellings or Poor Grammar

Fake text messages can be identified by poor grammar, misspelled words and awkward use of language. Real text messages from legitimate businesses will use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling.

The Text Message is Coming From a Strange Phone Number or Suspicious Email Address

If a text message is coming from a lengthy and/or suspicious-looking email address, it is a fake text message. If the phone number is not a regular 10-digit number or a five-to-six-digit short code number, if it also a fake text message.

The Text Message Contains a Suspicious Link

This is a huge warning sign. If the text message contains a suspicious-looking link, it is a text scam. Do not click on the link or follow prompts from these fake text messages.

General Tips to Block Spam Texts

To block receiving spam texts, you can do the following:
  • Do not respond to unwanted/suspicious texts (Not even to say STOP)
  • Filter potential spam texts with spam blockers like Robo Shield or Truecaller
  • Block spam numbers on your phone

And NEVER do the following:
  • Respond to the text message in any way
  • Click any links
  • Open any attachments
  • Provide any data to any websites mentioned

Here is an example of suspicious link text:


 

AmTrust Helps to Protect Small Businesses from Cyber Attacks

AmTrust provides cyber insurance for small businesses to protect them in the event of a data breach or any type of cyber incident due to smishing or other texting scams. For more information about cyber liability coverage, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.
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