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Smishing and vishing use text messages and phone calls to steal your personal information. But with the right mobile security, you can stop these attacks in their tracks.
Smishing – The Text Message Threat
Smishing uses phony text messages to trick you into clicking dangerous links or sharing sensitive info. Watch for texts about suspicious logins, package tracking, COVID-19 contact tracing, and more. Mobile security and authentication apps can detect fraudulent links and texts.
Smishing – Sneaky Text Tricks
Smishers use these sly text messaging tactics:
- Sending links to fake login pages to steal usernames and passwords
- Directing users to click malware links to infect devices
- Impersonating banks and companies with account closure threats
- Fabricating emergencies like compromised accounts
- Crafting messages personalized with your name and data
Protect yourself by never clicking links or calling numbers in suspicious texts. Instead, call the company directly using publicly listed numbers to verify any claims.
Vishing – Scams on the Line
Vishing employs phone calls impersonating banks, tech support, or other agencies to obtain your confidential data. Caller ID spoofing lets scammers mask their real numbers. But being alert for unusual requests and call screening solutions empowers you to hang up on vishers.
Vishing – Deceitful Calls
Vishing tactics include:
- Spoofing caller IDs to appear as banks and tech support
- Asking for sensitive personal and financial account info
- Claiming there are issues with your accounts needing urgent fixes
- Requesting payments or remote access to devices
- Threatening account closures or legal actions if demands aren’t met
Hang up immediately if calls seem suspicious. Call the organization directly to verify credentials of anyone requesting information. Setting SMS and phone scam alerts through your mobile provider, SMS messaging, Phone and security apps gives real-time warnings about detected smishing and vishing campaigns targeting consumers.
The Social Engineering Threat
Like phishing, smishing and vishing leverage social engineering tactics to manipulate users into divulging sensitive information or performing dangerous actions:
- Preying on strong emotions like fear, urgency, or excitement
- Building a false sense of trust by appearing as a known contact
- Providing convincing but fraudulent backstories and scenarios
- Spoofing identities and contact information of real organizations
- Citing time-limited offers or threats for immediate action
Awareness of these psychological tricks is key to identifying and stopping attacks.
Connected by Deception
While their delivery methods differ, phishing, smishing, and vishing share fundamental techniques:
- Impersonating trusted entities like banks and companies
- Demanding urgent action without verification
- Requesting sensitive personal and account information
- Installing malware through malicious links and attachments
Learning to recognize social engineering, regardless of message format, will keep you secure across platforms.
Stay Steps Ahead of Attacks
From device encryption to SMS firewalls, modern mobile security provides robust protection from smishing and vishing. Get the latest threats delivered to your inbox by signing up for my cybersecurity newsletters today!