SMARTPHONE owners should be wary of dangerous “smishing” messages.
These sinister scam texts can strike at any time – and are designed to steal your money or private info.
Be very wary of suspicious texts on your smartphoneCredit: Unsplash
Criminals use “smishing” texts to trick you into handing over cash or financial information.
But they may also use them to acquire enough personal info to defraud or extort you.
In an official security memo, mobile network Three warned over the dangerous texts – and revealed the warning signs you’ve got one on your phone.
“Smishing’s a form of fraud,” Three explained.
“They’re texts that are made to look like they’re from a reputable company and try to get you to do something.
“That could be calling a premium rate number or sharing confidential info. Not cool.
“Smishing messages can be convincing, and it’s easy to mistake them for genuine messages. There are some signs you can look out for though.”
The first major warning sign is when a text from a business on your iPhone or Android has spelling mistakes.
According to Three, this is “a clear sign something’s not quite right” – and urged phone owners to keep an eye out for them.
Professional businesses are very unlikely to send you texts with poor spelling or grammar.
So seeing this should put you on high alert, and make you think twice before replying to (or clicking anything inside) the text.
The second warning sign you need to watch out for is some kind of call to action in a text – which may be threatening or too good to be true.
“Smishing messages usually tell you that there’s an urgent issue with your account,” Three said.
“They’ll tell you that if you don’t act now, your account will be suspended or blocked.
“Fraudsters want to worry you and hope that you’ll follow their instructions.”
Three added that another tactic is to tell you that you’ve won something – or that you’re eligible for an exclusive offer.
The idea is that you get so excited by the text that you rush into a decision without thinking.
Three advised: “With messages like this, our tip is – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
Thankfully, it’s very easy to avoid becoming a victim of a “smishing attack”.
Even though it’s seems worrying, you have all the power to stay safe.
“Just receiving one won’t affect the security of your personal info or phone,” Three said.
“For the scam to work, you’d need to follow the instructions given in the message.”
If you’re worried about a text message, contact the business directly using details from its official website or app.
Make sure not to use contact info sent to you in the text – it may be fraudulent.