What is Smishing?

Smishing, short for SMS phishing, is a sneaky cybercrime tactic that uses fake text messages to deceive people into downloading harmful software, sharing personal information, or sending money to scammers. It’s becoming more common, with 76 percent of organizations experiencing smishing attacks in 2022.

How does smishing work? Scammers send text messages instead of emails or phone calls, knowing people are more likely to click links in texts. They might hide their identity by spoofing phone numbers or using software to send texts via email. Unlike emails, it’s harder to spot dangerous links on phones. Scammers often pretend to be banks, government agencies, customer support, shipping companies, or even someone the victim knows.

Examples of smishing scams include pretending to be from a bank to steal financial information, impersonating government officials to trick people into revealing personal details, posing as customer support to steal credit card info, or pretending to be a shipping company to get money or account info. They might also pose as a boss or colleague, text the wrong number to build trust over time, or trick victims into giving verification codes for their accounts.

Ultimately, smishing is a crafty way scammers exploit text messages to manipulate people into falling for their tricks.