You probably receive a suspicious message sometimes. This could be a spam text message or an email that looks suspicious. You should know what to do in this situation and how to protect yourself from these kinds of messages.
In this article, we reveal more about smishing and phishing attacks and what the attackers want to obtain from these kinds of activities. The results of these actions could be various threats and you should be very careful in these situations.
What is a smishing attack?
The word “smishing” comes from the combination of the words “SMS” and “phishing.” We all know that SMS is a text message that you get on a mobile phone, and phishing is a popular way of stealing data through emails.
When these two words combine, we get smishing, which is a technique of stealing information through mobile phones. Text messages are used as a way of communication, and many people are confused when they get this kind of message.
Smishing texts are social-engineering scams that are made to manipulate people in different ways. The aim of these messages is to obtain Social Security numbers, credit card information, passwords or to get into the computer system.
These kinds of spam text messages want to persuade you that the sender is a familiar or trusted sender and that the action must be done immediately in order to resolve a problem, secure a benefit, or avoid a threat.
You can get a text message from what looks like a reliable source, like your bank, mobile provider, PayPal, or Netflix. The message requires you to leave a Social Security number, your bank account, or the password for the services you usually use.
The scammers want to steal your identity and perform an illegal activity with your information. For these reasons, it is important to stay away from giving personal information to these sources because most of them might be the activities of the scammers.
What is a phishing attack?
Phishing is usually related to attacks that come through emails, but these attacks can also be performed through social media messages, “vishing” (voice phishing by phone), pop-up ads, or “pharming” (attacks on bogus websites).
Phishing is an old-school technique that dates back to the mid-1990s when the first attacks were performed. However, the sophistication of these attacks has advanced and we now have attacks that are well organized and very detailed. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the phishing attacks reached their historic maximum and these attacks became very serious in their form and consequences.
A phishing attack relies on impersonation, and scammers are very good at convincing and persuading the victims. They sound authoritative and they introduce themselves as the company officials. They use genuine logos and other company details to convince the victims that they are genuine in their presentations. Their emails and websites are very similar to the official sites of well-known companies.
As a result, they catch the victims in a circle that they cannot escape easily. The message spam examples are very sophisticated and you cannot be sure if these messages are genuine or if they are the product of the scammers’ attacks.
What to do to protect yourself from scammers?
First of all, you should not click on any link or website that seems to be suspicious. If you do so, you can infect your device with malicious malware and your firewall system could be in danger. Secondly, you should not answer the text messages or email messages that you find suspicious.
In the end, you should report spam text messages and protect yourself while working with the official websites and visiting only the authorities when you are not sure how to act in these situations. Scammers are very skillful, and you should be aware of their possible actions.