Text Phishing Targeting Houston Businesses

According to federal law enforcement agencies and the Better Business Bureau, impersonation, and text phishing scams are on the rise.
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Text Phishing Targeting Businesses Across Houston

Key Points:

  • New reports show that impersonation text message scams are on the rise.
  • The latest phishing variation has become a dangerous attempt to steal information.
  • When a reputable business texts you, do this before responding to the message.
  • If the scammer sent this in their text, stop, back out, and delete that message.
  • These two things are clues that 99.99% of the time, a text message is a scam.

According to federal law enforcement agencies and the Better Business Bureau, impersonation, and text phishing scams are on the rise. New reports show that scam artists have revived an old method to gain the business owner’s trust. The latest is a Citizens Bank text message scam.

In Houston, local businesses have seen more of these fake messages sent to them in recent days. In our latest video, Mike shows you the fake text message and doctored webpage these cybercriminals use to try and steal your business or personal information.

What is Text Phishing?

When scammers started using phishing gimmicks, it was primarily used to send out fake emails impersonating a legitimate company, such as Citizens Bank. However, this criminal practice has grown into four phishing variations; Spear Phishing, Whaling, Vishing, and Smishing.

Smishing is text phishing and consider a dangerous attempt to trick and scam you because it looks harmless. The main reason scammers use this method is that most people will quickly look at a text message before opening an email, not realizing it’s an attack.

That invasive texting to a business or personal cell phone is using the Short Message Service (SMS) text messaging service. It is so effective that the fraudulent practice continues growing, and more federal law enforcement agencies continue alerting the public.

Are All SMS Messages Scams?

The quick answer is no. Some reputable companies, such as dentist offices, eye care specialists, and other healthcare providers, send SMS messages to their patients. These businesses use a sign-up process when the person initially becomes a patient.

Part of this process is accepting or declining their text message reminders. However, do not respond to the text message due to the potential risk of getting scammed. Call the business first for verification. If you get confirmation that the company sent the text, proceed.

With the rising popularity of text messaging between patients and their doctors or consumers and businesses, SMS messages are viral. That extra step helps keep your business and personal information guarded, protected, and out of the hands of criminals.

Do Manual Searches To Protect Your Houston Business

Never forget that legitimate companies will not contact you and request your login credentials or sensitive business information. They will not use persuasive text messages and fake websites. Should the scammer provide a number for you to call, never call it.

Instead, do a manual search online for the company’s phone number. Once you’ve located it, call them and ask them to verify if the text message was legitimate and sent from them. You’ll likely discover that a scammer sent you a text phishing message, not the company.

Should the scammer include a link inside the message for you to click on, stop, back out and delete the message immediately! That link often leads you to a fake website impersonating a legitimate company when you click it.

Is Text Phishing Easy To Spot?

Text phishing is not always easy to detect. Sometimes it is more difficult to spot because the text message looks and sounds like it came from a legitimate company. However, I.T. Matters wants you to watch for specific signs and take the necessary steps to protect your business.

When you receive a strange and suspicious text message, 99.99% of the time, it is a scam. For instance, check the wording for grammatical errors or misspelled words. Furthermore, delete the message if the scam artist requests that you provide personal or business information.

Suppose you feel your company is a target. In that case, I.T. Matters has a proven track record of helping Houston businesses avoid text phishing scams. When you need information technology assistance, contact us or call us at (281) 280-8500!