October 20th, 2020

Police warning of ‘smishing’ scams on cellphones

By Kuhl, Nick on December 12, 2019.

Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge Police are advising the public to be wary of unsolicited text messages that claim to be from their bank, cellphone carrier or other seemingly legitimate sources – especially when they contain links.

“Smishing” – the SMS text message equivalent of email phishing scams – is prevalent and police are aware of several residents who recently received messages that appear to be from their cell provider, officials said in a release Wednesday.

Police say the scam texts indicate the victim has overpaid their monthly cell phone bill and must click the link in the message to deposit their refund.

Anyone who receives such a message, or any other unsolicited text that contains a link, is advised not to click on it. If you receive a text message from a company you do business with, call them directly to verify the information before taking any action, police say.

To avoid being victimized, police suggest:

– Do not reply directly to any spam text message as this lets scammers know your number is legitimate and they can sell it or bombard you with smishing messages.

– Do not give out any personal information via text message. Many text scams will ask for verification of personal information such as account details or credit card numbers. Even if the message looks like it’s from a company you do business with, most do not request this information by text message.

– Do not click on links in your text messages. Doing so could potentially install malware that can collect information from your phone.

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