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What is Smishing?

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If you’ve started to receive random text messages on your phone from unknown senders, it’s important to avoid opening these. In this article, we’ll tell you why and explain what you can do to protect yourself from falling victim to a smishing campaign. 

Smishing is where a hacker sends a text message pretending to be a reputable company, bank or the government. The sole purpose of smishing is to get the victim to directly reply or click on a link which then provides the source with relevant passwords, credit information, or personal information. If that’s not bad enough, malware can also be sent via SMS, and once it’s opened, it can be downloaded onto your phone. Those who use their phone for work purposes could also be putting their company at risk if they open a smishing text or download any form of malware.

Topics to look out for that are often part of a smishing campaign:

  • Random requests for information from your bank
  • Tax based stimulus checks
  • Public health safety updates
  • Urgent request to unlock an account
  • Free giveaway
  • Shopping rewards
  • Invoice for services you didn’t sign up for
  • Account error or unusual account activity
  • Text “STOP” to unsubscribe

How to Protect Yourself?

If you receive a text message from a phone number you don’t recognize, do not open any links or respond without doing some due diligence. If the message looks like it’s coming from your bank or a well-known company like Amazon or FedEx, go online, find the organization’s contact number and call them directly to ask if this message came from them. 

Having additional protection on your phone can help to keep your data safe at all times. If you have apps on your phone that contain personal information, consider setting up multi-factor authentication. Anti-malware apps can also protect you against malicious apps and SMS phishing links. 

What to Do if You Have Been Smished?

Immediately report all SMS phishing attempts to the company that they were trying to impersonate, as well as the appropriate authorities. Since you cannot know exactly how much information has been stolen from you, it’s important to change all of the passwords and PINS to your accounts. Notifying your bank so they can freeze your credit card and monitoring your bank accounts can also help protect you after a smishing attack. 

If you’ve had money stolen or lost your identity, it’s time to call the Smith Investigation Agency. Our team of professional private investigators will open a fraud investigation to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. 


About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Founder of The Smith Investigation Agency in 2014, Whitney Joy Smith’s extensive background as a private investigator is matched only by her passion for the role. A graduate of several respected institutions, including Northwest Florida State College and George Brown College, her early years in life were spent between Canada and the United States. This education, along with her formative years as a private investigator in various agencies, informed much of her knowledge of private investigative laws, regulations, and operating standards in both countries.

The recipient of numerous industry awards and accolades, including the Consumers Choice Award, Best in Ottawa, and many others, Whitney takes pride in working closely with her ever-growing agency to raise the bar, maintain compliance, and meet the investigative needs of clients. Whitney is active in various membership and supporting roles, including the CPIRC, CBN, CAPI, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and many others. Her experience-driven, thought-provoking articles have been featured in everything from Readers Digest to Business News Daily, and she strives to continually redefine standards for those in the private investigative and security fields. Learn more about Whitney and the team at The Smith Investigation Agency today.