How to Protect Yourself from SMiShing Scams
The Text That Spells Trouble: How to Protect Yourself from SMiShing Scams
By now, most consumers are suspicious of emails and spurious phone calls asking for personal information trying to con them. Knowing this, scammers have turned to text messages, also called SMS (Short Message Service), to gather sensitive information or gain control of your cellular device. This kind of scam relies on our tendency to automatically reply to a text without a second thought.
Here is how it works, according to Consumer Reports. You receive a text message that appears to come from Google and contains a verification code. The text is promptly followed by another message saying, “Google has detected unusual activity on your email account. Please reply with the verification code sent to your mobile device.” Don’t follow these instructions. If you do, the scammer will be able to access your account and gather sensitive information about you.
Avoid this scam, and protect yourself by never sending a verification code to anyone via text or email. These codes should only be used on the log-in page of the account for which they were sent. Receiving a verification code that you didn’t request could be a sign that your account is being tampered with.
Scams like this use Google to appear legitimate, but could use any service. So be aware, and when in doubt, contact your actual account provider for help.