Can You Spot A Text Scam?
Scammers don’t limit themselves to phone calls and spam texts—they’re also sending fraudulent and dangerous texts these days. Are you sure you would know how to spot one?
Unfortunately, SMS scams can be more damaging than most people think. SMS attacks are social engineering attacks that work similarly to text scams. The difference is that, in a lot of cases, they can be much more convincing.
5 Ways To Spot A Text Scam
As a social engineering method, text scams rely directly on the target’s lack of awareness. The less a given user knows about text scams, the less likely they’ll be able to spot a scam text.
Here are 5 signs that a text may be a scam attempt by a cybercriminal:
- Source: Does the text come from an area code you don’t recognize, or a long, nonsensical text address? That’s your first sign that something isn’t right. If you don’t recognize the sender, you need to be suspicious of what they’re saying.
- Spelling and Grammar: When reading a suspicious text, keep an eye out for any typos or glaring errors. Whereas legitimate messages from your bank or vendors would be properly edited, scam texts are notorious for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes.
- Specificity: Whereas legitimate senders will likely have your information already (such as your first name) and will use it in the salutation, scammers will often employ vaguer terminology, such as “Valued Customer” – this allows them to use the same text for multiple targets in a mass attack.
- Urgent and Threatening: If the subject line makes it sound like an emergency (“Your account has been suspended”, or “You’re being hacked”) that’s another red flag. It’s in the scammer’s interest to make you panic and move quickly, which might lead to you overlooking other indicators that it’s a scam text.
- Hyperlinks: If the text contains a hyperlink that you are urged to click, that’s a dead giveaway. The scammer is likely trying to send you to a webpage that will record your login information, or get you to download dangerous malware.
The reality is that cybercriminals can keep using the same old techniques because users keep falling for the exact same tactics without ever seeming to learn the cybersecurity measures needed to protect against them.
The key to these types of scams is that they don’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting-edge hacking technology; social engineering targets the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk.
Would you like to reduce frustrations with technology and boost operational efficiency within your business? The I.T. Matters team partners with companies of various sizes to help you create a secure, scalable, and flexible technology infrastructure.
Exceptional customer service is at the foundation of everything we do – ensuring that IT projects fully align with your business goals. Our friendly and knowledgeable team continually reviews industry trends and government regulations to help reduce risk and create a more productive IT environment for your business. Whether you are looking for full-service, outsourced IT infrastructure support, or simply need help with an upcoming technology project, contact us to help!