scamming in a new era — smishing

Helpful Tips

There is no doubt that scammers have found creative ways of extorting money. For years scammers would phone us with a facade of urgency deemed actionable by their prompts; “Hurry, I am from Microsoft. Let me access to your computer remotely, while we troubleshoot this virus” or “I am from the IRS, you must make payment immediately, or we will have to use police force.” These facades of urgency are dependable on being fooled or tricked into want the scammer wants.

SMS Phishing is an emerging tactic used by scammers, and we’re here to help you better mitigate the risk. sms stands for “Short Message Service.” What we know as a basic text message. Phishing is the practice of stealing or revealing your personal data. Together, it is the practice of sending you a fraudulent text designed to steal your personal data. 

A “smishing” scenario would start out with receiving a text message that follows the same pedigree of phone scams. “Act now”, “Immediately”, “Send money”, “Your bank account has been hacked”, “Change password here”, or “Your credit score has changed, click this link.” Someone that is unfamiliar with smishing might click where prompted in that text message and accidentally reveal their passwords, bank info, or more to unwanted sources. 

Scammers will try to legitimize themselves by masking under other companies such as USPS and Home Depot. They may fake promotions and giveaways prompting victims to click. Do not click these! If you do, fear not, do not enter your personal information! If you do, well we have some other options outlined below. 

The easiest way to spot a scam is based off best practices. 

Tips to help are provided below. These tips are a general overview and are not fully encompassing of all best practices. 

  • Never engage (via email or phone) with a party, company, or representative that you do not recognize. 
  • If it’s too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • Confirm that you are connected with the legitimate company, party, or representative.

If you are ever suspicious if something is a scam, it probably is. If you are unsure, Pioneer Connect is here to help you determine the level of risk. Contact Us. 

Additionally, there are many other great options such as directly reporting the text to your cell provider. You can easily report these scam text messages to your cell provider by forwarding the message to 7726 (spam). This will combat future scams by helping your provider identify where the attacks are coming from.

If you ever feel the need to report such activity you can at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.

If you believe you are a victim of identify theft you can file a report at https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/.