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How to Identify and Avoid SMS Scams



How to Identify and Avoid SMS Scams

Scams are the worst, and they’re annoying. They tell a story, and make it personal in some way, in an attempt to draw you in and trick you into clicking a link, opening an attachment, and even transferring money. Those who know better and can quickly spot such fraudulent acts disregard them, but it may be a different story for people who aren’t as well-informed. 

Since mobile devices have become a part of people’s daily lives, fraudsters have also seen an opportunity to deceive people into sending them money or acquiring their personal information. Look at some of the common text message fraudulent schemes below to determine and avoid SMS scams


Package shipping scam

If you’re a frequent online shopper, then you’re aware that it’s standard practice for some shipping companies to send you a text message, notifying you when your order will be delivered or if it will be delayed. Along with this is a tracking code and link to check the delivery status. 

Beware of scammers posing as shipping companies that send you “track package” messages. Chances are, the code in the message is intended to phish for your personal details. For protection, don’t click on any suspicious links. Most shipping services allow you to check the status of your package online. 


Emergency text messages

Emergency text messages involving your family members are among the most common and one of the oldest tricks in the book. In this scam, you’ll receive a text message saying that a loved one traveling or living in a specific location has gotten into an accident or trouble, and you’ll need to send money to help them out of it. 

This type of fraud is meant to get you frightened and act in panic, which almost always works. When you encounter such a scam, think before you send money or take any action. You can contact a trusted family member to confirm the story and ask some questions to the sender to verify their identity. 


Reactivation scam 

Reactivation scams often look innocent and legitimate at first glance. They typically indicate that your account with an email provider or app has been compromised, hacked, or used in another device. This is followed by a heads up that it has been deactivated for your protection, and you must text a specific number, reply to the message, or click a fishy link to reactive or retrieve your account. 

In this case, if you don’t have an account from the said app, simply ignore the message. You can also confirm this with the brand through their verified channels, or check the accounts in question yourself. When you see that they haven’t been deactivated or if there are no signs that it has been compromised, you have your answer. 


Don’t fall prey to the trap of fraudsters

These people have one goal in mind, and that’s to steal your money or data for their own benefit. In these times, you must remain vigilant and dubious of the messages you receive. 

SMS scams are arguably among one of the world’s biggest scams, and it has been around even before the emergence of smartphones. Below, we have a visual graph that enumerates the different types of SMS scam tactics and tips to steer clear of them. Let’s dive into it!

How to Identify and Avoid SMS Scams

Barjunaid Cadir is a Content Writer in The Weekly Trends, Web Developer, SEO Content Manager, LinkedIn Specialist, Social Media Manager, and a University Researcher at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey.