Text scams continue to victimize mobile phone users in a variety of ways. From small amounts to more considerable sums, SMS scams involve tricking people into giving away money to fraudsters.
Here are some of the most common methods of SMS scams that you should be wary of, as well as the things you can do to prevent SMS phishing.
- An anonymous or unregistered number poses himself/herself as a family, relative, or someone you know and sends you a request for mobile load due to an emergency.
If you’re not 100% sure that the person communicating with you is someone familiar to you or is trustworthy, stay on the safe side and ignore the text message.
- You receive a congratulatory text message for winning a contest, raffle, or other promos—even though you don’t remember joining one—with a prize that you can redeem. In some cases, the sender will ask for money to facilitate the sending of the prize to you, while in other cases, you’ll be requested to submit personal information over an unsecured website or even through text.
The first red flag here is that you’re being asked to give money in exchange for what is supposed to be something free because it’s a prize that you’ve won. Second, you need to be careful about the websites that you access. Pay special attention to the site URL, which should use the “https” protocol, as it has encryption or security features.
- An unidentified number, coming from someone who’s posing as a bank employee, texts you and tells you that the bank has detected an authorized transaction on your credit card. The sender may ask for your credit card security number to reverse the charges, which is a total scam.
Remember that you should never share security numbers for your bank or credit card accounts, such as your PIN code, one-time password, and other personal information. This will prevent scammers from manipulating your financial records or using your accounts to make transactions.
Plus, banks or companies will only send you updates or messages if you have permitted them to do so. In such a case, you should be receiving texts not from an unverified number, but from the official numbers bearing the name of the organization.
SMS scams can be detected and prevented if you know what to watch out for. Find out more about SMS scam tactics and the best practices to avoid these scams by checking out our featured infographic.