Don't get tricked into giving your personal data over a text message


Have you received a txt message recently that you were not expecting? Did not recognize the number? Asked to call back a number? Had a message that said something like “your card has been flagged”?

This is known as Smishing!

Smishing - using text messages to dupe victims - is becoming a popular way to trick mobile device owners into handing over personal data, financial information or even cash.

Because email service providers like Google or Yahoo continue to develop new ways to combat spam and phishing, text scams are becoming more prominent with hackers. The phrase "smishing" comes from short message service, another term for text messaging.

Here's how to deal with a suspicious text:

  • Don't reply to text messages from unfamiliar phone numbers, especially when it comes from a number that doesn't have nine digits.
  • Don't trust text messages that directly request personal or financial information. Government agencies and banks won't ask for sensitive data via text.
  • Don't click on a link contained in a text message unless you know the person who sent it. Even if you receive a message from a friend or family member, confirm that he or she meant to send it before clicking.
  • Don't share your mobile phone number on social media or online.

Be sure to check out Horizon’s other articles on Cybersecurity.