Ok, sometimes the names people come up for things are just stupid. No doubt you are familiar with phishing – which means fishing for information by phone. Well, now we have smishing, which is fishing for information by text. I guess the S is for SMS. I suppose it is better than tishing.
Anyway, smishing is when a scammer sends the potential victim a text seeking information. Perhaps a credit card number or other details that the scammer can use to steal money or identities. The scammer might also include a link to a harmful website seeking to get you to share usernames and passwords.
Many of the scams right now seem to involve informing the victim that he has won a prize and needs only respond with a credit card information to claim it. This past March, Walmart had to provide a warning on its website about a text based gift card scam.
Of course, no one should respond to a text by providing credit card information, or passwords, or any other details that can allow someone to harm them. Also, watch out for links sent through texts that ask you to provide credit card or personal details, or that send you to sites that might contain malware scripts. In short, be careful responding to texts from numbers you don’t recognize, and always make sure you check that you are on the right website before you start to enter information. It is especially easy to be fooled by a fake website on a cell phone. Due to the small screen size you cannot always see the URL correctly and might not be aware you are on a fake site.
For more information, check out this article from NBCNews.com.