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What is Smishing also known as text phishing?
If you ever receive a text message from a random number, business, colleague, or even a friend that you feel unsure about, it could be text phishing or "smishing". Smishing is when an attacker sends a fake text to your device posing as a legitimate source (ie. a bank or your boss). The text often contains a link that, upon clicking, leads you to a fraudulent website placed there by the attacker in hope you will reveal personal or financial information (ie. credit card numbers, passwords, etc.).
A smishing text can also be delivered in the form of an "urgent" favor, gift card purchase, wire transfer, etc. from whoever the attacker is pretending to be. In this case, it's best to confirm the person's identity prior to taking any action. Place a quick phone call via the contact info you've saved in the past or have obtained from a trustworthy source. The attacker has most likely done their homework and knows about you and the person they're spoofing. Do not let his/her abundance of
To protect yourself from these attacks it is important to be cautious when receiving texts from unknown sources, as well as known sources texting from a different number or displaying strange attributes. Do not click on any links or provide any information unless you feel certain that the message is legitimate. It's best to not respond at all since it could be letting the attacker know he's reached a legit number and setting yourself up for future smishing attempts.
How do I filter unknown senders?
Open the Google Messages app
Tap the three dots in the top right corner
Tap "Spam Protection
Toggle on "Enable spam protection"
- Open the specific text and tap the three dots in the top right corner
- Tap “Block Number"
Scroll down to Message Filtering and under it, click "Unknown & Spam"
Toggle on "Filter Unknown Senders"
Now you'll have a spam filter for your phone. You can also switch between known and unknown senders in your "Messages" section