Although the term may not be as familiar as “phishing” which is the name for emails that lure you into clicking on malware infected links or providing personal information that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft, “smishing” is the term for text messages that lure you into clicking on links or providing personal information in response to a text message from what appears to be a trusted source, such as a company with which you do business. Smishing scams are increasing in frequency over the last few months with many smishing text messages appearing to come from the United States Postal Service in which you are informed of unclaimed packages. It is important to know that the Postal Service does not send text messages about unclaimed packages. Any such text message you receive is a scam.
As I always say, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” You can never be truly sure when you receive a text message seeking personal information such as your credit card number whether or not the email is a scam. The risk of clicking on a link or providing the requested information is just too high. Instead, if you think that the text message might be legitimate, you should contact the company or government agency which the text message appears to be from at a telephone number that you know is legitimate and find out whether or not the text message was a scam.
Here is a link to a video of the United States Postal Service that describes these smishing scams. https://youtu.be/lHZGf0THJqs
Here is a link to information about how to filter and block messages on your iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201229
Here is a link to information about how to block phones on your Android phone: https://support.google.com/phoneapp/answer/6325463
Here is a link that provides information about services provided by your cell phone carrier to block calls and text messages: https://fightingrobocalls.ctia.org/#section-05-resources
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
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