The word Smishing is a combination of SMS and Phishing. Smishing is a type of cyberattack whereby the attacker uses misleading messages to betray the victim into sharing sensitive information or giving away money. The cybercriminals trick the victim into believing that the message has arrived from a trusted person or organization. They usually ask the victim to verify, update, or reactivate their account by clicking on links or calling on a certain number. When the target responds and follows the instructions, it gives the attackers access to sensitive data like bank account login information, etc.
Bank Smishing is the most profitable type of attack for cybercriminals. The cybercriminals play with fear of the victim regarding their bank accounts being hacked. They usually send a text message to the victim claiming to be from the bank and warn them about larger fund transfer or new payee added. These attackers will provide a number to call and a link to click through to get access to the victim’s bank account. After clicking on the link, it leads them to spoofed websites and asks for username and password. After getting the credentials, the attackers can easily access your bank account.
Bank Smishing attacks become successful because most of the banks don’t provide services that text the users about suspicious activity on their account. To avoid bank Smishing, be sure that the bank texting you know you very well, as the message may include a few last numbers from your bank account or credit card. Do not click any link received via email or text. Instead, log in to your bank account through the bank’s official website or app.
How to Prevent Smishing
Smishing attempts not only target but also businesses. As a business owner, you must educate and train your employees in spotting Smishing attempts and other types of attacks. It is a good idea to create simulated Smishing attacks within your organization to identify their weakness and train your employees accordingly.
Here’re more tips for individuals to avoid Smishing attacks:
- Don’t click on any link or call any number received from an unknown person.
- Be wary of unsolicited SMS that claims to be from reputable organizations, such as banks, credit card firms, etc.
- Don’t follow any instruction that encourages you urgently to visit their website or call a number to update or verify your account.
- Don’t provide your personal information, such as username, bank account, and other codes.
- Don’t respond to text messages that ask for your four-digit code or online banking password.
- Don’t click on any link provided in a text message, instead, use a trusted browser to access online banking through your bank’s website.
- Contact your bank immediately if you mistakenly respond to a Smishing message.
- Always check the last number code of your bank account and credit card with the numbers you have received in a text message.