What Is Smishing and How It Is Affecting People Over The Internet?
Canadian businesses and individuals are apparently prized targets for cyber attacks. A recent study showed that 70% of fraud phishing attacks are targeted at Canadians. Cyber attacks target individuals and businesses on a daily basis and can lead to identity theft and monetary losses.
While most people today are familiar with terms like “malware” and “phishing”, another form of attack is “smishing”. Smishing (SMS messaging + phishing) is an SMS message that tricks users into providing personal and/or financial information to scammers.
Smishing campaigns often take advantage of natural disasters and crisis situations to divert funds from charity into their own pockets. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting individuals and businesses across Canada in 2020, smishing attacks are out in full force.
If you’ve fallen victim to a smishing attack, the faster you act the better your chances are to recover your lost funds. At PiPro, our private investigators have years of experience and the technological resources to deal with smishing attacks and cyber criminals.
Let’s take a look: How smishing works
Smishing attacks are sent out via SMS text messages. Their format may seem quite basic and dull, but that’s part of what makes them so effective. In fact, research has shown that people read 98% of their SMS messages within seconds of receipt.
Spammy emails, on the other hand, are much more flashy and can simply be blocked or redirected to spam folders.
The messages in smishing attacks will contain language that alerts the user to an imminent threat on their system. The message will include either a URL or phone that connects you to an automated voice response system. That’s when the potential damage begins.
For example: Common smishing attacks
Here are a few examples of common techniques used in smishing attacks.
Claim your free gift and get a malicious app
Millions of people shop in big retailers like Costco and Walmart. At one point or another, you’ve probably filled out one of their surveys after making a purchase. They often lead to sweet discounts which entice consumers to keep going back for more purchases.
Scammers will send out smishing attacks with messages suggesting they are sent from these big retailers. They lure consumers to fill out a quick survey or click on the link to claim their fake “grand prize”.
Needless to say, there won’t be any prize to claim. Instead, you’re likely to be led to download a malicious app or provide sensitive personal information that can be misused in the black market.
Fake tech support messages
Tech support scammers send SMS messages to users to contact tech support over a high-risk attack on your system. Once on the line, the scammer will request personal information from the user to “validate” their info.
The user is then prompted to make an immediate payment so that their team can fix this made-up problem. Payments are usually requested to be made via gift card, cash-reload card or wire transfer. These payment methods are very difficult to reverse.
Let’s dive in:
Being a victims doesn’t mean you don’t have options
Victims of smishing attacks are often left feeling foolish for falling for these scams. After all, nobody likes to admit that they thought they were loaning emergency funds to some Nigerian prince.
This is why many victims actually stay silent about the incident and take no action at all. But if you already opened your door to these criminals, who’s to say they won’t strike again?
How PiPro private investigators fight smiging attacks
First of all, you are not alone. Millions of Canadians are defrauded by cyber attacks each year. Scammers make it their full-time job to steal money and personal information from their victims. That’s why they are so good at what they do.
Standing aside and letting criminals get away with their crime should not be an option. If you are a victim, you should immediately report the problem to the local authority such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and law enforcement.
It’s always a good idea to report the incident with your bank and see how they can assist with the funds recovery process.
Hire PiPro professionals to recover from fraud
Let’s face it, with thousands of individuals and businesses reporting cyber attacks, law enforcement officials have their hands full. That means that your investigation will take more time than you’d prefer to resolve, if at all.
At PiPro, we have a wide range of tools and skill sets that make us the ideal force to chase after these cyber criminals. We use the latest technology and investigative research methods to trace the source of these despicable crimes.