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SMS Phishing: The New Threat Targeting Smartphones

Phishing scams are targeting users where they spend the most time: their phones. Learn how to avoid becoming a victim to a scam and protect your identity.

To most “connected” individuals, phishing scams are not new. Traditionally sent via email, phishing scams attempt to extract personal or financial information from the target. From a suspicious request by a distant relative, to a threat about loss of property, phishing scams generally use fear tactics or emotional manipulation to get information from the intended recipient. If you think you may have a virus on your device from a phishing scam, click here to run a Full Virus Scan and remove any threats:

SMS phishing scams are no different in intent, but are sent directly to the recipient’s SMS inbox. Like email phishing scams, SMS phishing scams are a serious threat for both consumers and businesses. Because they can often mimic reputable senders (i.e. your bank), many people fall victim to them, which can lead to a loss of information and even identity theft. When protecting yourself from such scams, keep the following in mind.

Read More: Security Risks of Apps Sharing Data with Advertisers

  1. Utilize Anti-Hacking and Remain Diligent

DFNDR’s Anti-Hacking tool protects your device against phishing attacks, if you click on a bad link from an SMS. This tool will automatically block any dangerous sites that you may attempt to visit, and warn you of deceptive websites designed to steal your personal information. Click here to protect your device from phishing attacks:


  1. Be On the Lookout For Suspicious SMS Messages

If the message is from an unknown sender or a blocked number, it is best not to engage with the content, especially if the SMS message links out to a website. Typically, SMS phishing scammers use third party tools to mass deliver their messages and block their numbers from phones, so be aware if you see such a message come through.

  1. Only Engage With Companies That You’ve “Opted-In” to Receive SMS Messaging

If you’ve never received SMS messages from your bank before and have not opted-in to do so, it is very likely that it could be a scam intended to collect your banking information. Be aware of which companies you’re expecting marketing messages or alerts from, and be wary of imposters.

  1. Be Cautious of the Content, Even if the Sender May Seem Familiar

Even if the company or person the message is coming from may seem familiar, be aware of the information they are asking you to provide and how they are asking for it. Phishing scams usually over-exaggerate a sense of urgency in order to create fear in the mind of the recipient. Know that most companies will not ask for sensitive information over SMS. If in doubt, contact the company that’s trying to contact you by using a number from their website or a document — not the SMS!