Smishing (short for “SMS phishing”) is a scam in which attackers use SMS to deceive people and obtain their personal information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, or other sensitive data. This type of scam is becoming increasingly common, so it’s important to know how to recognize smishing and how to protect yourself from it.

How to recognize:

1. Unknown senders: Be cautious when you receive SMS from an unknown number or if someone claims to be from a bank, credit card company, or other institution. The bank will never ask you to provide personal information in this way.

2. Use of threatening scenarios: Attackers often use threatening scenarios, such as account suspension or fines, to provoke fear and compel you to disclose your information.

3. Shortened URL addresses: If an SMS contains shortened URL addresses or asks you to visit suspicious websites, always be cautious. Do not open such links.

How to protect yourself:

1. Verify the sender’s identity: If you receive an SMS from an institution or company, verify the sender’s identity by looking for the official contact number on their website and calling them directly to verify the message’s validity.

2. Do not share personal information: Never disclose personal or financial information via SMS without verifying the identity of the person contacting you.

3. Be cautious with personal information: Do not share sensitive information such as credit card numbers or passwords via SMS, even if the person claims to be an official representative of an institution.

4. Do not click on suspicious links: Avoid opening links via SMS if they seem suspicious or unreliable. By clicking on a link, the attacker may aim to install malicious software to take control of your phone or direct you to a malicious site where personal data is requested under the pretext of a prize game, preventing an account block, data verification and the like.

5. Regularly update software: Regularly update your phone’s operating system and install antivirus/malware applications. There are many free versions available.

6. Inform authorities: If you suspect you are a victim of this type of scam, immediately inform the relevant authorities and your bank to take necessary protection measures.

Smishing often relies on fear and urgency manipulation. Therefore, it’s important to be vigilant, verify the sender’s identity, and never share sensitive information via SMS without verification. This way, you can protect your financial and personal information from potential scams of this type.