Holder Law Group strives to protect both the physical and financial interest of Champaign Urbana and Illinois. This is why we will be launching out Consumer Protection Alert series of posts dealing with Illinois consumer protection issues that impact not only the residents of Central Illinois, but the entire country as well.
We have all heard of phishing and how scammers are trying to steal your information via email. But scammers have another trick up their sleeve: Smishing. Smishing refers to trying to scam people by sending them SMS text messages. According to Forbes, one of the best ways to avoid a smishing scam is to use two-factor authentication which involves both a password and another way to verify your identity. Here are some tips to avoid being a victim of smishing.
1. Be wary of any text messages from numbers you do not recognize, especially if they come from a strange area code. Be especially wary of messages that come from a four-digit or five-digit number.
2. If a text message claims to come from your bank, do not believe it. Call up your bank first and provide them with information about the text to help them identify if they really sent the message.
3. Be wary of clicking links in text messages. They may cause your phone to download malicious software, viruses, malware, adware and spyware. Not only shouldn't you click on a strange link from a strange number, but you should delete the text message as soon as you can. If possible, do not even open the message.
4. Be aware that scammers can sometimes make a message appear as if it is coming from one of your contacts. If you receive a weird, odd, and strange message from your friend with a suspicious-looking link, ask them if they really sent it.
5. Do not reply to text messages from strange numbers, especially if they ask you personal information, tell you that you won a prize, or tell you that you need to reply urgently. In addition, do not call the number that sent the message.
6. Make sure to install an antivirus app on your phone. There are many services available such as Knox, McAfee, and Lookout, and all of these will provide guards against smishing.
If your personal information has been stolen, contact us immediately to see if we can help. Do you have a smishing story? Feel free to let us know.