Sidestep SMS phishing attacks with these four tips

We discussed about the implementation of the SMS Sender ID Registry, or the SSIR in short, to cut down on SMS phishing attacks in an earlier article. While the SSIR is a step to cut down on the effectiveness of SMS phishing attacks, it will not stop all SMS phishing attacks. In this article we will share how not to become another victim on SMS phishing attacks with four short tips.

The effectiveness of SMS phishing attacks predominantly relies on eliciting an urgent response, in hope of the recipient clicking on the malicious URL without further consideration.

Tip #1. Slow down and breathe.

This is critical. The call-to-action message is always looking to elicit an urgent response. Collect your thoughts before clicking on any URL or to reply to the SMS.

You may also be asked to call another number or use another messaging app like WhatsApp, Telegram or Viber, etc. The SSIR or the other preventative measures will not prevent you from getting scammed if you call or reply to the scammer using the indicated phone number or another messaging app. It’s also unlikely you can claim from insurance, if any.

Tip #2. Ask questions about the SMS.

Are you expecting such a SMS?

Should you be receiving such a SMS?

Ask your friends or family members about the SMS because they care about you.

Tip #3. Use another method to check the SMS’s validity

Use your favourite search engine to reach out to the organisation’s corporate website to confirm whether the information on the SMS is valid. Do not use information from the SMS to validate the SMS itself! The SMS could already be tainted with the wrong information.

Tip #4. Do not assume the SMS is non-malicious if it shows a phone number instead of Sender ID (Caller ID)

Could the SMS be any less of a potential scam? Put on that inquisitive hat. It is much more important to focus on end user or consumer education instead of relying on technology-based protection measures.

Please forward this article to someone whom you think will benefit, if this article had helped you to understand how to prevent getting phished via SMS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *