June 21, 2024

SMS Fraud Warning - How to protect yourself from these dangerous text messages

SMS Fraud Warning – How to protect yourself from these dangerous text messages

As digital communications are increasingly taking place via smartphones and messaging services, scammers are now trying to lure their victims into a trap using SMS (SMS, Whatsapp, etc.). The new action is called smishing, which is a combination of words from SMS and phishing.

The Smishing-Act

You will receive it before short message Or, via another short message service, information that requires a response. It often seems like there is little time to respond, or you have to factor in unpleasant consequences if you do nothing. The content of the messages is believable, for example:

  • Declaration of shipment by Swiss Post
  • Parcel blocked due to lost postage,
  • An icon accidentally sent by a contact,
  • Missed message,
  • Competition with great prizes.
  • The recipient is asked to click a link, send an SMS to a specific number, or reply to an SMS.

Consequences of SMS attack

If you follow the request, this could trigger different actions:

  • The subscription is canceled, for example if the SMS should be answered with “Yes”.
  • Payment data is misused, for example if you have to enter your Apple ID to download an apparently urgent app, or if the link leads to a fake payment page.
  • An account is compromised, for example when a token is forwarded to a virtual colleague. In fact, this is the confirmation code that an account (like Whatsapp) should be reset. The Fraudsters* Inside setting a new password and control.
  • Malicious software is installed, for example by clicking on a link.

Trust and lack of control are exploited

Fraudsters take advantage of the fact that SMS is more reliable than email and is more likely to get answered. Many are aware of the severity of links in emails and act accordingly with caution. On the other hand, SMS is seen as personal and trustworthy. In addition, text messages may not be verified for content. While email providers and mail programs filter out phishing emails, telecom service providers lack the legal basis to do so. Analyzing the content would violate the confidentiality of communications. Additionally, very few have installed antivirus or anti-spam software on their smartphones. This is especially important with Android devices. IPhones are better protected by Apple’s closed system.

How do I protect myself from SMS text messages?

  • Ask if the news is questionable On the other official channels! Call the post office, your colleagues, etc. or write an email to an official address! But do not use the information from SMS!
  • Do not open any documents Or, don’t click on any links if you can’t 100% trust the sender!
  • Watch out for contradictions! Does a friend write to you like this? Does the application comply with the usual procedure? For example, it is not normal to be paid to deliver a prize.
  • Google the applicationTo see if other people actually consider it scam Have been defined.
  • Delete the message!
  • Install virus protection On your Android smartphone and anti-spam software!
  • Make regular updates The program on your smartphone!