The Federal Communications Commission issued an alert to warn Americans of the rising threat of smishing attacks aimed at stealing their personal information or for financial scams.
Threat actors use multiple lures to trick victims into providing their information or sending them money. SMS used by the attackers include false but believable claims about unpaid bills, package delivery snafus, bank account problems, or law enforcement actions against the victims.
The information collected as part of these smishing attacks may be used in future scams.
The increased number of consumer complaints about unwanted text messages, in recent years it raised from approximately 5,700 in 2019, 14,000 in 2020, 15,300 in 2021, to 8,500 through June 30, 2022.
FCC provides the following recommendations to defend smishing attack:
- Do not respond to suspicious texts, even if the message requests that you “text STOP” to end messages.
- Do not click on any links.
- Do not provide any information via text or website.
- File a complaint.
- Forward unwanted texts to SPAM (7726).
- Delete all suspicious texts.
- Update your smart device OS and security apps.
- Consider installing anti-malware software.
- Review companies’ policies regarding opting out of text alerts and selling/sharing your information.
- Review text blocking tools in your mobile phone settings, available third-party apps, and your mobile phone carrier’s offerings