The COVID-19 pandemic has been named a paradise for SMiShing, as people receive fraud text messages pretending to be government updates.

What is a SMiShing text message?

SMiShing is a form of a phishing scam via text. People behind these texts aim to gain money by tricking individuals into giving them their private information. 

SMiShing text scams are very well-thought, just like most phishing scams. They are mass text messages sent hoping for at least a person to fall into the trap.

SMiShing texts are often from a 7-digit number, which is the first red flag you should be aware of. 

The texts vary: some claim that you have won something, that they have package information for you or simulate that a friend is texting you saying that it’s an emergency and they need you to send them money; shortly after they will send you the link to send the money.

Another example of a SMiShing text is attempting to make you give personal information by pretending to be from your bank or credit card.

During this pandemic, they have found the opportunity to send people fraud links, claiming to be donation links for front line workers.

Other SMiShing texts ask you to download and install some particular apps, which you shouldn’t do because those apps will start stealing your personal information on your phone. 

How to avoid SMiShing texts or phishing calls?

Do not submit any personal details when requested to do so via text message, delete or report any suspicious messages without opening links and block the number.

Do not give out any personal information to anyone claiming to be calling from your bank on an unknown number. Hang up and call your bank immediately to check if they actually need to speak to you.

If you have already entered your bank details after receiving a SMiShing text message, contact your bank to inform them and cancel your card.

Do not answer or call back if you receive an unexpected call from an unknown international number.

In other news, Phishing: What is a SMiShing text?