Text message scams (or SMS scams) are a popular type of phishing attack: These types of scams are difficult to trace, easy to do while pretending to be someone else, and can include malware links right in the text. Plus, if you aren’t paying close attention, you may fall for one without thinking, since we’re used to rapidly responding to text notifications.
But there’s a way to defend yourself – learn about scam texts ahead of time! Here is the finale of the 7 most dangerous text (SMS) scams in 2020…
- Service Confirmation Texts
These texts pretend to be from a variety of online services. They promise notifications from apps like Uber, sites like Craigslist, dating sites like Tinder, and many other platforms…but they will all try to get you to click on a link. Delete and move on.
Although, sometimes service confirmation texts that appear legitimate are a different problem – it could mean someone is using your email or phone number to sign up for random services. In these cases, ignore the confirmation and let the service know that you weren’t the one who signed up.
- Texts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
2020 has been a ripe year for IRS phishing texts, which may claim anything from having your stimulus check to warning that your tax return wasn’t properly filed. The IRS is not sending you texts, and is certainly not asking for personal financial information in them. You can check the status of your taxes, refund, stimulus checks, or anything at IRS.gov.
- Texts about winning a prize
A tried but true phishing scam, these texts usually promise gift cards from popular companies (Amazon, Wal-Mart, etc.) or announce you’ve won a cash reward – with a malware link included. The text is trying to get you to click the link without thinking, and it remains a common scam because it works. If you didn’t sign up for the giveaway or raffle, don’t believe that you won it.