As the world evolves to become more digital, so do scammers. While many diligent citizens are aware of phishing or email scams, few have heard of SMiShing. SMiShing is an adapted form of phishing, wherein scammers utilise SMS messages to achieve their goals. Just like phishing, scammers will imitate large and trusted corporations to obtain personal information from customers.
Criminals prefer SMiShing as users tend to trust text messages more than their emails, viewing them as more personal and reliable. Like many similar scams, the aim is to prey on a person’s ignorance or ignite a sense of urgency. A smishing scam message could be disguised as a warning from your bank and includes harmful phone numbers or links. Once a victim falls for their bait by clicking or calling, they are sometimes even enticed into downloading malware. The end goal is to obtain your account information and finances.
Unfortunately, a Mackay resident has recently fallen victim to this type of scam. The victim – a senior citizen approaching retirement – has lost their life savings of $40,000. As described above, the scammers preyed on the victim’s concern by sending a fraudulent message about suspicious activity. When the victim fell for the bait and contacted the scammers, they were coached into incremental transfers that totalled $40,000. The scammers also gained remote access to the victim’s computer, obtaining personal and identifying information. The situation was only halted due to the intervention of a local bank employee.
Now that you’re aware of the dangers of SMiShing, it’s important to consider how you can protect yourself from such a scam. We have prepared a helpful infographic with some great tips on avoiding a SMiShing scam.