Have you heard of Phishing? It's like fishing, but the bait is your nievity regarding your cell phone. It generally happens when you get an email asking for you to update information from a bank or other institution that might already have your information. However, the sender is someone other than a reputable source, hoping you are on your cell phone and hoping you'll sense an urgency to respond instead of worrying about where the message came from. On your computer it is much easier to spot scams and phishing than it is on your cell phone, especially since the link might take you to a sight that looks like your bank. After all, anyone can lift a logo online and build a webpage with a form.
Now there is a new scam to keep an eye out for. It's called Smishing. It entails the same bait as before but it uses SMS to get the message to you. It might be in the form of an offer, a coupon or various other offers people fall for. The way it works is you'll get a text message with a call to action usually in the form of a link. Use your common sense. If it looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
Just between North America and 2 other countries, 30 million such messages are sent daily. In the US alone there are 300 million mobile devices and 72% of then use text messaging.
A study done by Cloudmark shows that SMS offers a better ROI (return on investment) than email spam. So you can expect to see more and more of it.
Metropolitan areas are more prevalent as spammers tend to gravitate toward living in those areas. One benefit of major metro areas is that long code providers are more prevalent. Short codes need a mobile device to push out the message whereas Long codes are executed from a 10-digit phone number (no mobile device is needed). Those 10-digit virtual numbers enable the sending and receiving of SMS over landlines. Long codes are not only low cost and efficient, the virtual numbers are not tightly regulated as short codes and startup times take days not months.
It's always easy to say after you have been hacked or lose your data, "I should have installed virus protection" or, "I should have backed up." Do you know what's really easy? installing
or another virus protection to your phone. You wouldn't run your computer without Norton or some antivirus software. Your smartphone is a mini computer vulnerable to many of the same hazards as your laptop or desktop. Lookout periodically scans your mobile device specifically looking for phising, malware and spyware. It also checks any apps you load on your device and any websites you visit.
What to do about it