With the festive season approaching more and more, many users will make their purchases through Internet. And they often choose to receive updates via messages about sending and receiving their products.
However, this practice has not escaped the attention of its criminals cyberspace, which generate similar update messages to trap users, a method also known as smishing.
Smishing scams have increase lately and it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish them from the real messages of the companies. If you want to stay safe here are some signs that can show you that a message is scam.
- Spelling and grammar errors: Many times the messages which are fraudulent, contain many spelling or syntax errors. This is because many of these scams come from foreign countries that have a different mother tongue.
- Menacing or urgent style: Many of the fake messages use a strong tone and try to convince the user that something bad will happen if he does not respond to the message. They usually involve threats such as account freezes, financial losses or loss of an order, which of course do not apply.
- Payment requests: Some fraudulent messages require a deposit or payment confirmation. You should never provide this information or respond to any message requesting this.
- Fake numbers: Scammers often falsify official phone numbers to hide their identities. The most recent scams use the following area codes: 917, 765, 646, 470, 347 and 332.
Some examples of such smishing scams:
- Notification from Amazon: The user receives a message that looks like an Amazon delivery notice. The message asks for confirmation of delivery by clicking on a link, which leads to a phishing site that asks for personal information such as name, address and card number.
- Message from USPS: Requests confirmation of delivery, disclosing personal information. The text will try to push the user by saying that his package is either late or on the verge of delivery. Click on the link to go to a phishing site.
- FedEx: Similar to the other two cases it uses the company logo to trick the user. She then asks him to follow a link to claim a gift.
- PayPal: A fake PayPal message can contain dangerous scenarios such as broken accounts, incoming charges and fraud alerts. Of course, all these threats are false. However it is worth checking your account to make sure everything is OK. Do not click on the link that gives you the message, but go to the PayPal website and log in.
- Fake competitions: Users often receive a message saying that they have won a gift, usually an iPhone. Of course this is not the case and the link leads to dangerous sites.
What to do if you are fooled from smishing message
If you act fast, there are some ways you can still protect your data:
- If you provided your payment information, call your bank or card issuer to let them know that your card or account number has been stolen. Ask them to send you a new card and ask for your old one to freeze. Be sure to request tracking of your account as well.
- If the crooks have already received money from you, tell your card issuer that you have been the victim of fraud. Ask if there are any recovery options. Some financial institutions may be able to recover your lost money.
- Change the passwords you use for banking applications and set up two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized connections.
- check it HaveIBeenPwned.com to see if any of your accounts have been compromised. Change the passwords of any compromised accounts.