As online frauds continue to witness an exponential rise in the country, the Government of India, through its various social media handles, sensitise citizens around these scams. In the latest move, Cyber Dost, a cybersecurity awareness X (formerly called Twitter) account managed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, shared details of one such attack – ‘Smishing’.
Also called SMS phishing, these messages mislead people into revealing sensitive data, @cyberdost said. Further, it added that victims can dial 1930 to register a case of online fraud and report the matter from the cybercrime portal.
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“Smishing (SMS phishing) uses misleading texts to trick you into revealing confidential information. #Dial1930 to report online financial fraud and report any #cybercrime at http://cybercrime.gov.in,” the agency said. The advice in the video read: “Avoid clicking on suspicious links or sharing personal information over text messages, especially if they are unsolicited.”
Smishing: How It Works?
According to McAfee, the texts may appear to originate from an official source, such as a government body or a well-known company. The call to action may include an urgent threat or a note that prompts a user to act fast. In most cases, the message has a link to enter personal details or download a software or app, which is malware.
Examples of Smishing
These messages urge a user to take action on a compromised bank account by calling a mobile number or clicking a link to enter details. While this URL promises identification verification to curb suspicious activity, it is a medium to steal data and wipe out cash from bank accounts.
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Secondly, other methods may include prize awards after clicking links or asking for payments by impersonating members you know. They aim to take away financial details or personal information to commit cyber crimes. In all these cases, a user should stay vigilant and double cautious about their next step.
Smishing Texts: How to Stay Safe?
A user must check the sender details of the message before interacting further. These messages have poor grammar and textual errors that are signs of their bogus character. You can also cross-check the company by calling the official helpline or the concerned person before taking the next step.
Plus, using a spam filter on your smartphone is also recommended to stay safe from this activity. You can toggle this from your default Messaging app. Lastly, keeping your system up to date and installing a strong antivirus can also add to your security.