Not content with tricking victims into giving up private identity information via email, phishers are increasingly turning to text messaging to scam account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and more from their targets.
One advantage that phishing by text message has is that while people are becoming increasingly wary of email messages exhorting them to log into an account, text message phishing is still relatively novel, and so people are more likely to fall for it.
And while text message phishes often contain a link on which the phisher wants you to click, cell phone phishing may be even more compelling when it asks you to call a number.
For example, this phishing text – from a real cell phone phishing effort that was making the rounds last week – has the potential to be very compelling, particularly if the person receiving it actually has an account at the referenced financial institution
“Central One FCU Alert: Your CARD has been DEACTIVATED. Please contact us at 508-744-3140 to REACTIVATE your CARD.”
|Get notified of new Internet Patrol articles for free!
|Or Read Internet Patrol Articles Right in Your Inbox!
as Soon as They are Published! Only $1 a Month!
Imagine being able to read full articles right in your email, or on your phone, without ever having to click through to the website unless you want to! Just $1 a month and you can cancel at any time!
A call to the number lead to a voice menu with an option to punch in your credit card number to “reactivate your card”, where ‘reactivate your card’ of course really meant “give a scammer your credit card number.”
Fortunately, the same rule to protect yourself against email phishing applies here – if you get a text message (or email) asking you to visit your account online, or to call your financial institution or other organization with whom you do business, don’t click the link, or call the number in the text message.
Instead, contact the organization directly by typing in their website URL in your browser, or calling the number that you ordinarily use to call them. If, in fact, they are genuinely trying to contact you, you’ve lost nothing but the time it took you to type the address or punch in the ten numbers.
On the other hand, if it is a scam, you’ll have saved yourself untold dollars and hassle.
No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free? Thank you!
|Get notified of new Internet Patrol articles!