Bellevue, WA (PRWEB) April 27, 2011
According to a recent report by KABC in Los Angeles, a new scam targeting wireless users is sweeping the nation. While “Phishing” is still common place in email inboxes, “Smishing” attacks are being directed at wireless devices.
In the United States alone, there are more than 300 million people with wireless devices. People rely on their wireless devices for a variety of daily tasks, using mobile apps for online banking, managing their passwords, and even filing their taxes. But, responding to the wrong text message or downloading and installing the wrong app on a smartphone or tablet could be devastating.
Wireless users could experience something as severe as a substantial financial loss if their phone is compromised and their bank account information is available and exploited.
‘Smishing’, comes from merging SMS and phishing. Fraudsters use SMS texting to bait victims into giving them personal information. So for example, a wireless user may receive a text message from someone claiming to be from a financial institution or government agency requesting that the user to call them at a number they provide. When the user calls the number provided via text message, the criminal on the on the other end of the line tries to solicit personal or financial information from the unassuming wireless user.
Or in another example, a user may receive a text message from someone posing as one of their friends requesting that the wireless user download and install a mobile app. If the text recipient bites and downloads the mobile app, their screen will blink which is a subtle indication that they just downloaded mobile malware. Malware could potentially allow hackers or mobile fraudsters to monitor their accounts or use the victim’s phone remotely to send malicious text messages to their contacts without the mobile user ever knowing.
NumberInvestigator.com offers the following tips to help mobile users avoid ‘Smishing’:
- Check out app reviews before downloading an app to ensure it is reputable.
- Consider installing an anti-virus app or program on the mobile device, these types of programs will scan apps for malware or viruses before enabling them to be installed to a phone.
- Be wary of an app that requests a lot of permissions to access information. Make sure to read each permission carefully before granting the app access.
- A financial institution will rarely, if ever, send unsolicited text messages. Don't respond to unsolicited texts that appear to be from a bank, especially if the bank is unfamiliar. Instead, contact the bank in question directly on the phone or at a local branch to inquire about the text.
- Use NumberInvestigator.com to look up the source of any suspicious text message requesting personal information via reply text, email or phone call.
- Never download an app from a link in a text without checking it out first.
Numberinvestigator.com is a leading provider of reverse phone lookup services that enable consumers to simply search a number, including cell numbers (where available), landline numbers and VoIP to accurately find the owner of that number. NumberInvestigator.com empowers consumers with a community of users that report and share suspicious or malicious calls and the phone numbers associated with them.