Like the old adage about finding true love goes, “There are plenty of fish in the sea!” In the digital world of cyber hacking, they’re known as “phish,” a scamming tactic used to trick people into revealing confidential information about their bank account, credit card, or other personal accounts. These phishing attempts first started out as phone calls and emails, but now cybercriminals can also reach you via SMS (text message) through a popular phishing scam dubbed “smishing.” “A good general rule of thumb for a text from someone you don’t know is to just ignore it or delete it,” says Stephen Cobb, senior security researcher at ESET, a company that makes antivirus and Internet security software for businesses and individuals worldwide. “I think blocking is an option if you’re getting messages from the same source all the time, but the smarter criminals will rotate the numbers they come from.”
The “acquaintance” you never met
Some scammers act like someone who appears to know you and lure you in with a friendly message. USA Today reports that the message may look like this: Beautiful weekend coming up. Wanna go out? Sophie gave me your number. Check out my profile here: [URL]. Smishing attempts try to use common names like Don or Ann that aren’t too obvious or hard to pronounce because they want to maintain their not-so-suspicious facade.
Your package is pending
Getting a text message saying that you have a package waiting for you might seem tempting, but think before you click on anything. A new text message scam has been making its way around the country. People have reported receiving messages saying: [Name], we came across a parcel/package from [a recent month] pending for you. Kindly claim ownership and confirm for delivery here, and then a link. Clicking on the link and inputting personal information potentially allows cybercriminals to steal your identity, empty your bank account, or install malware on your phone.