The First Half of 2021 Saw a 700% Increase in Scam SMS

Phishing is a problem that occurs in all kinds of shapes and forms. While the most common way for someone to end up getting phished would generally involve emails and the like, SMS based phishing attempts are quite common as well. In fact, according to a recent report published by the Revenue and Customs department of the British government, SMS based phishing, or smishing as it is colloquially referred to, is actually on the rise and has seen a massive jump in recent months.

Based on the findings of this report, SMS phishing attempts have increase by an incredible 700% in the first six months of 2021 when you compare the rate of such attacks to how often they occurred in the last six months of 2020. One reason for why such an increase is occurring might have something or the other to do with the increase in online shopping and the like due to the pandemic. People are generally stuck at home these days as they have to avoid situations wherein they might suffer from some kind of an infection, and since groceries are still a necessity for them to purchase this gives scammers a prime opportunity.

This has also resulted in a bit of a crisis of credibility for the companies that want to be able to communicate with their customers over text messages and the like. A lot of these companies find that customers just don’t trust any of the text messages that they received even in spite of the fact that this is the case they appear to be from a legitimate company because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up being a ruse that has been put into play by a scam artist.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that there are things that you can do if you feel like you have been sent a text message that is basically just an attempt at phishing. One thing that you can potentially end up doing is that you can report the text so that the authorities can take appropriate action in this regard. It is essential to do this so that the frequency of these types of texts can be decreased until eventually they are no longer a problem at all.

Mantas Sasnauskas, Senior Cybersecurity Researcher at CyberNews, provides advice for consumers on how to protect themselves from smishing:

 “If you get a text from what looks like a legitimate company that you recognize, before clicking on any links check/research that it has the same URL as the company’s real website. If you see any differences, don’t click on it. 

“If the URL does match the real company website, make sure that when you click on it that you aren’t redirected to another similar looking website with a different address – as this could be bad actors intercepting you to harvest your personal data. 

“Some password managers can really help you in this instance – they store secure passwords for you but can also flag if the website you’re visiting is malicious or is known for phishing or whether one of your passwords appeared in any of the data leaks. If I was going to recommend one action to improve your cybersecurity online, it would be to get a password manager to keep your online accounts safe.”

Illustration: freepik

Read next: US consumers have lost over $4 Billion just in 1 year as a result of online fraud
Previous Post Next Post