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Smishing Warning Signs

In this video five different smishing attack examples are discussed, where one even uses humor as a tactic.
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Here are some red flags to look for in a text message that should make you suspicious that it could be a smishing attack. In general, you don’t want to reply to a text message from people you don’t know. That’s the best way to remain safe. This is especially true when the SMS comes from a phone number that doesn’t look like a phone number, such as a 5000 phone number. This is a sign that the text message is actually just an email sent to a phone. Let’s look at five common types of smishing messages you might receive. The first example is the urgent “your bank account is locked” type of smishing message. This one pretends to be from US Bank.
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Note, the attacker is using a trusted company name. Consider the emotions you experience when you receive a text like this and how you might be tempted to click that link. The next example is the urgent message about your credit card smishing attack. And in this case, claims to be from American Express, another trusted company. Example three, you’re a winner. You may very well be a winner, but you will lose if you fall for this attack. In this case, it claims to be from Walmart. This is tempting, because you may have taken some of those surveys printed on your receipt. Did you finally win money when you never thought you would?
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Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true. I appreciate that this one at least uses a little humour. In this case, the attacker pretends to be Amazon. You haven’t even taken this survey yet, but if you do, then you’re going to be a winner. Actually, in this case, the attackers would win. The unusual account activity smishing message that says, you need to click to secure your information, when just the opposite is true. Do not click. This one claims to be from Apple support. Now, I do happen to get quite a few of these types of messages from our cell phone provider, because my husband regularly forgets our password and has to reset it.
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But they always simply inform me that my password has been changed and they never ask me to click a link. What should you do to prevent smishing attacks? You should consider urgent security alerts and “you must act now” coupon redemption’s offers or deals as warning signs of a smishing attempt. Ignore messages from financial institutions asking for personal information. No financial institution or merchant will send you a text message asking for you to update your account information or confirm your ATM card code. If you get a message that appears to be from your bank or a merchant that you do business with and it asks you to click on something in the message, it’s fraud.
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Call your bank or merchant directly if you are in any doubt. Never click a reply link or phone number in a message you are not sure about. Look for suspicious numbers that do not look like real mobile phone numbers, like 5000. These numbers link to email to tech services, which are sometimes used by scammers to avoid providing you their actual phone numbers. Do not store your credit card or banking information on your smartphone. I know it’s convenient, but if the information isn’t there, attackers can’t steal it, even if they do slip malware into your phone. Do not respond to suspicious text messages. And lastly, report all smishing attacks to the Federal Communication Commission to protect others.
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In conclusion, you have learned what smishing is, what objectives attackers are aiming for in smishing, and who is at risk for smishing attacks. We discussed red flags and warning signs of a smishing attack, and went over several examples, as well as what you can do to protect yourself and your organization from a smishing attack. In the next video, we will discuss vishing, a special type of phishing that uses telephone calls to deliver the attack. I look forward to seeing you there.

Five different smishing attack examples are discussed in the video, where one even uses humor as a tactic.

Take note of what to do to prevent such attacks, especially in a time where we use our cellular phones for a variety of functions.

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Cyber Security Foundations: Common Malware Attacks and Defense Strategies

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