What Is Smishing?

Smishing, a mash-up of SMS and the more familiar cyber scam of “phishing,” is the practice of sending fraudulent text messages to individuals or businesses. The aim of such messages is to convince the target to click on a malicious link or provide sensitive information.

As with phishing emails and vishing, smishing is a type of social engineering scam. It has become increasingly attractive to fraudsters as mobile communications have grown in prominence. Often, smishing scams look to leverage real-life events to convince recipients of the legitimacy of a fraudulent message. For example, the Covid pandemic resulted in a noticeable uptick in the number of smishing scams circulating.

Prevent Smishing

Fortunately, there are ways that you can prevent becoming the next victim of a smishing scam. Smishing attacks can usually be identified when messages are unexpected or contain suspicious URLs. You can also enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) with One Time Passwords, employ complex passwords or passphrases, or set monthly credit limits to reduce the likelihood that you will fall victim to smishing fraud.

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