smishing Attacks

There has been an increase in the number of robotext scams in recent months, which has prompted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue a warning.

Scammers are increasingly using robotext scams to trick their victims, which is now outpacing the use of robocalls as a con trick technique.

You may receive texts that look like they are coming from a number you trust. Just as with robocalls, you may receive texts that are spoofed to mask the originating number. 

A spoofer may attempt to impersonate a government agency or choose to obtain a local number. In order to have you respond to a text message sent by a scammer, these methods are commonly used.

It has come to the attention of the FCC that some of the text messages sent to consumers look a lot like spam emails, with links to products the consumer may have never requested. However, in many cases, these texts have been disguised as ploys to steal valuable information like your personal or financial details. 

There have been reports of recipients being induced to enter their username and password on a fake bank’s website in order to verify purchases or unlock frozen credit cards. The delivery updates are also used as bait by phishing scammers in order to lure victims into the trap.

Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in complaints from consumers regarding unwanted text messages. In terms of unwanted message complaints, the approximate numbers are as follows:-

  • 5,700 in 2019
  • 14,000 in 2020
  • 15,300 in 2021 
  • 8,500 till June 30, 2022

The bottom line is if 2022 follows this trajectory, we can expect to reach or even exceed 17,000 complaints by the end of the year.

In response to consumer concerns, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) has issued a warning about the growing trend of ‘wrong number’ text scams, many of which stemmed from chatbots.

Recommendations

Here below we have mentioned all the recommendations from FCC:-

  • Whenever you receive a text message from an unknown number or a number that seems suspicious, do not respond.
  • Do not send sensitive information that could compromise your financial or personal security by text.
  • If you receive a text that contains misspellings or a text that contains an email address, be on the lookout for that
  • If you receive a text message with a link in it, think twice before clicking on it.
  • You should look up the number of a business if it sends you a text that you didn’t expect and call them back if you received it by mistake.
  • The government rarely initiates contact with the public via phone or text message, so be aware of that.
  • If you receive unwanted texts, you should report them as SPAM in order to alert your wireless provider about the scam.
  • Complaints should be filed with the FCC as soon as possible.

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