SMISHING, phishing and vishing are just three of the ways in which criminals will try to fleece you of your hard-earned cash.
So how can you protect yourself from these frauds and scams that help fill the scammers pockets?
What is SMiShing?
Essentially, SMiShing is a variation of phishing.
Only instead you receive an SMS message on your mobile phone.
A villain will get hold of your phone number, either because you listed it on social media, or because they bought data that has been hacked or leaked from a legit company.
Mass text messages are then sent and the probability is that someone will fall victim.
Like the other scams on this last, SMiShing messages are very sophisticated and it's easy to fall victim to them.
One example of a SMiShing attempt could be a message pretending to be from your bank or credit card, encouraging you to click on a link which directs you to a different site, where your details will be stolen.
Another example will be a message from a number telling you that you have won a prize, and that you have to click on a link to claim it.
A similar message will inform you of suspicious activity on an account of yours, or that there is a survey you need to fill in, and that you have to click on a link to activate it.
What is phishing?
Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker pretends to be a reputable entity or person in email or on a website.
It is a method of trying to gather personal information using deceptive e-mails and websites.
It can be a request from your bank or a note from someone in your company — all to make you click a link or download an attachment.
What is Wangiri?
Wangiri (literally translated as ‘one ring and cut’ in Japanese, where it first originated) is a scam that involves a fraudster calling a mobile phone number at random, hanging up after one or two rings, and therefore encouraging the recipient to call the number back.
Three Mobile say these numbers are often from an automated system resulting in a dramatic increase in such calls and are usually internationally-based meaning a customer could receive a charge for returning the call.
What is vishing?
This is when criminals – already armed with enough information on you – ring up and pretend to be someone.
They then try to get your bank details off you or even to convince you to transfer money.
Sometimes the caller will try to make you believe your money is in danger and that you have to act quickly or risk losing it.
This can cause people to panic and often make them act without thinking.
Also, the phone number can appear genuine.
Sometimes criminals can hold your telephone line, so if you hang up to call back the bank, you are actually speaking to the fraudsters who never hung up.
Background noises can be played so it sounds like a call centre rather than some creep in their bedroom.
How can you protect yourself from email, phone and text scams?
According to Three Mobile, there are tips to keep yourself protected from bogus calls and messages.
- Do not submit any personal details when requested to do so via text message
- Delete any suspicious messages without opening links
- If you have already entered your bank details after receiving a text message, contact your bank immediately and cancel your card while monitoring your account for unusual activity
- Do not give out any personal information to anyone claiming to be calling from your bank on an unknown number. Always hang up, and call your bank direct to check if they need to speak to you
- Contact Three or your provider if you think you may have received a smishing message – reporting any suspicious message
- Do not answer or call back if you receive an unexpected call from an unknown international number
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