How To Prevent Fake SMS Scam

How To Prevent Fake SMS Scam?

Are you frequently disturbed by random text messages? These spam texts are not just annoying; they can also be dangerous. They might expose you to malware, identity theft, and other security threats. Scammers are always coming up with new ways to trick people into giving them money. A common trick they use now is sending fake SMS messages to fool people into transferring money. This type of scam is called an SMS scam.

It is very important to know how to spot spam texts and stop them from appearing on your phone. Engaging with these messages can leave you vulnerable to online attacks like phishing and malware. Responding or sharing personal information can lead to more attacks in the future.

In this post, we’ll discuss tips to prevent fake SMS Scams without buying or considering any specialized tools.

Fake SMS Scam: How Does it Work?

Rajesh, a young professional working in Mumbai, receives an SMS that appears to be from his bank. The message informs him that his bank account will be suspended unless he updates his KYC (Know Your Customer) details immediately. The SMS includes a link to a website that looks nearly identical to his bank’s official site.

Rajesh gets an SMS from a number resembling his bank’s official communication number. The message reads:

Dear Customer, your account will be suspended due to incomplete KYC details. Please update your information at www.linkyouraccount.com”. 

The message uses urgent language, pressuring Rajesh to act quickly to avoid his account being suspended. This sense of urgency is a common tactic to prevent victims from thinking critically. 

The link in the SMS directs Rajesh to a website that looks strikingly similar to his bank’s official website. The URL might include minor alterations, such as “securebanking-update.com” instead of “securebanking.com”. Rajesh is prompted to enter sensitive information on the fake website, including his bank account number, ATM card details, CVV, and OTP (One-Time Password) received on his phone.

Once Rajesh enters his details, the scammers capture all the information. They use this data to access their bank account, transfer funds, or make unauthorized purchases.

10 Tips to Keep In Mind to Prevent SMS Scam

Here is a list of the 10 proven tips that can help prevent SMS scams. 

Recognize the Signs of Spam Text:

One of the most significant tips to prevent spam texts is that you should know their signs. These signs often appear out of nowhere and have nothing to do with anything happening in your life. If you get a text like this, it’s best to ignore and report it. These texts may contain links that lead to malware. Never click on links from unknown sources. Sometimes, scammers will follow up a spam text with a phone call, pretending to be customer service representatives. They might be rude and try to embarrass you to get sensitive information. Be cautious and don’t fall for these tactics.

Don’t Respond Directly to a Spam Text:

Another tip to keep in mind is that replying to a spam text confirms to the spammer that your number is real. Once they know your number is active, they can sell it to other spammers who will bombard you with more spam texts. Instead of responding, block and report the number to prevent further harassment.

Be Cautious of Clicking Suspicious Links:

Clicking on links in spam texts can result in malware being installed on your phone or lead you to fake websites designed to steal your personal information. If your phone is compromised, you may notice a decrease in battery life and overall performance. If you accidentally click a link, close the window immediately and delete any downloaded files.

Be Mindful of Where You Share Your Phone Number:

When browsing the internet, treat your personal information as highly valuable. Scammers often attempt to gather as much information as possible for fraudulent purposes. To protect your personal information, avoid sharing your phone number or any other personal details with unknown or untrusted sources. This reduces the risk of receiving unwanted texts.

Utilize Third-Party Spam Protection Apps:

Many major carriers offer call-blocking services or plans that allow you to block calls from unknown numbers for a specific period. Additionally, consider using third-party text scam blocker apps and services that are compatible with your carrier’s wireless service.

Educate Yourself About Common SMS Scams:

Stay informed about the types of SMS scams that are prevalent, such as phishing scams, lottery scams, and fraudulent offers. Being aware of these scams helps you recognize suspicious messages and avoid falling victim to them.

Keep Your Phone’s Operating System and Apps Updated:

One of the best tips to prevent scams is to consider updating your phone’s operating system and apps. Updates are crucial for security. They often include patches that fix vulnerabilities and protect against new threats. Enable automatic updates or manually check for updates to ensure your device is up to date.

Enable Spam Filters On Your Phone:

Most smartphones have built-in spam filters that can help identify and divert spam texts to a separate folder or block them altogether. Enable these filters in your device’s settings to take advantage of them.

Be Sceptical of Unsolicited Offers:

If you receive an unsolicited text offering gifts, prizes, or exclusive deals, approach it with caution. Remember that legitimate companies usually don’t randomly contact individuals with such offers. Verify the credibility of the sender before engaging further or providing any personal information.

Trust your Instincts:

Last but not least, if something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and exercise caution. If you suspect a text to be a scam, it’s better to err on the side of caution and delete it without engaging further.

What to Do If You Were Scammed Through Fake SMS?

If you are ever tricked by a scammer and end up losing money, then here are the things that you can do to minimize the damage and prevent further loss. Let’s take a look at them. 

Block All Contacts With the Scammer:

One of the first things that you need to do is simply cut off all the connections with the scammer in any form. Ensure you don’t answer their calls, emails, or messages. Even if they try to promise you to return your money, don’t fall into the trap and block them immediately. It’s important not to engage with them anymore. 

Inform your Bank or Payment Service Provider:

Another major thing that you may need to perform is to get in touch with your bank or the company you use for payment like Google Pay, Paytm, or PayPal. Ensure you call them right away and explain what happened in detail. You need to ask them to block your account and prevent any kind of further unauthorized transaction. Remember that SMS frauds can be devastating and if you want your money back, then ensure you contact your bank branch as soon as possible. 

Secure Your Account & Change Password:

Once you have filed a complaint with your bank, you can take some extra steps to protect your online accounts if any. Ensure you spare some time and change the password of all your accounts, especially your bank and finance apps. On the other hand, if you want to have a strong password game, try to use a combination of letters, characters, signs, and more. For an added layer of security, you can enable two-factor authentication to keep your bank accounts 100% safe and protected. 

Report to the CyberCell at Earliest:

In the final step, you will need to report the SMS scam to the cyber cell as soon as possible. Ensure you contact the Cyber cell department via email, phone number, or direct visit. Since technology has taken the landscape and disrupted all sectors, there are abundant reports of cyber crimes every day. Thus, in India, the Government has established specific cybercrime cells in major cities to handle these kinds of complaints. Keep in mind that while filing the report, you should provide all the relevant details, including emails, transaction IDs, SMS, mobile number of the scammer, and any other type of communication you had with the scammer.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to text messages and security, it’s important to apply some common sense and leverage the privacy features provided by your phone and carrier. When you do so, you can effectively deal with spam messages. Armed with the knowledge of how to stop spam texts, it’s essential to go the extra mile in safeguarding your online security. With these simple precautions, you can shield yourself from becoming a victim of deceptive schemes. Stay vigilant and protect yourself online by implementing these measures.

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