Not just during the holidays, but all year round, beware of the increase of Phishing texts.  (AKA SMishing)

These text messages are on the rise, with teases to “click on the link below” to find out about the package that couldn’t be delivered or the gift you are to receive for paying your cell phone bill on time.

If you are wondering, these text-based-attacks are on the rise. And the attacks are getting clever. Who wouldn’t click on a link warning about an extra payment made to my credit card account? Well, honestly, I might be happy if someone made an extra payment on my credit card. 

But there are texts from banks and credit card companies that I do not bank with or have credit cards with that have holds or suspicious activity on them.  And there are texts from UPS and FedEx about may package that may not be delivered.  There are texts from Costco that my name was pulled as a lucky recent shopper or Walmart that my receipt entitles me to a free gift certificate. 

To access any and all of these offers, deliveries or special bonuses, I just need to click on the link in the text…

So why do people fall for these scams?

We all have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  These scams create a sense of urgency and potential loss. During a busy holiday season with lots of things going on the potential to click through to just “knock this thing off the list” is high.  The immediacy of the call to action is high.  And we’re all looking through our phones – a lot – and typically click on hyperlinks that are put before us.

So what can we do?

  1. Slow down and read the text.
  2. Didn’t order, ship, shop or buy something from the sender?  Probably not valid.
  3. Don’t click on the link. If it’s valid, you can get to the data from the online store or emailed confirmation that was originally sent to you.
  4. Install tools to protect yourself – even on your cell phone.
  5. Recognize that all devices connected to the internet, no matter the manufacturer or operating system are vulnerable.
  6. When in doubt, contact the vendor directly.

If you’re interested in keep up with the latest scams, hacks, attacks, and vulnerabilities, subscribe to our regular updates here:

Have a safe and secure Holiday Season.