Do You Know What “Smishing” Is & How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of It?
Sometimes, it seems like you can’t do anything today without worrying about becoming a victim of identify theft. Seriously. If you log onto a computer, check your email, and scan through your Facebook feed—and spend five measly minutes doing it—you could be a victim of identity theft. We’ve all been warned over and over about the ways that criminals are trying to steal our identity. But, at this point, it’s gotten pretty out of hand. I mean, it’s gotten to the point that I question every single link I click on when I’m on the computer. I guess that’s a good thing. But, it also sucks to have to be that crazy when it comes to just signing onto the Internet.
And now, criminals have found a whole new way to steal peoples’ identities. It’s called “smishing” and it’s the latest identity theft method. Basically, all someone needs to do to “smish” you is to send you a text message that contains a link and refers you to a fake “prize.” It could be for anything from a $1,000 Best Buy gift card to a “winning” lottery ticket. And once you click on the link that’s included in the text, the criminal has got you since those links usually force you to unknowingly download malware to your phone. They can then remotely access your phone, your banking info, and, in some cases, even listen in on you without your knowledge. It’s all pretty creepy stuff.
So, how can you avoid it? Well, for starters, DON’T CLICK ON LINKS TO FREE PRIZES! I totally get why you’d want to click on them. Everybody loves winning stuff. But, by now, you should realize that those things never actually deliver free prizes. They deliver identity theft! Secondly, get some sort of protection against malware products on your phone. It could help stop someone from committing identity theft against you. And, finally, watch what you put on your Facebook page. Criminals are often known to use Facebook pages to steal info that they can use against you. If they find your phone number on there or other personal info about you, they can use that against you.
By doing those things, you should be able to avoid getting “smished.” Good luck.