Scammers use different stories to “fish” sensitive information from targets. The goal is to get as much information as possible from the target. “Smishing” is the term for phishing for information via text message (SMS). The methods used to phish is the same regardless of the medium of the message. Read examples of conversations that are designed to phish a victim.
Lie #1: You Are in Trouble with Authorities
Communication appears to comes from an official agency and threatens punishment if action not taken.
Lie #2: Your Family is in Danger
The criminal imitates a friend or family member and claims to be in danger, in order to get sensitive information.
Lie #3: We Need Your Credentials Again
A email arrives that imitates an account the person uses. The message requests reentry of credentials.
Lie #4: You Have Won an Amazing Reward
The criminal entices the user to provide data in order to take advantage of a supposed special offer or free item.
Signs of a Lie
Some signs that a person is trying to scam you can include:
The offer in the message is too good to be true.
You are not aware of how the person got your phone number.
The sender is from an organization that does not use text messaging.
The message has typos or odd grammar.
The person messaging is making the situation seem extremely urgent.
The person is asking for a password or other sensitive information “in the clear” without any security.
Logos or other elements in the message are low quality or wrong.
When asked for a phone call or other means of confirmation, the person does not agree.
Take more steps to prevent and understand phishing by downloading our guide.