Thursday, October 11, 2012, AM | 5 Comments
Media report that nearly 50 million spam text messages are sent to North American cellphones everyday. In the United States, most carriers charge the receiver of the message some cents (most probably 20 cents) whether you answer the message or not.
I come from a third world country and back there the receiving end is not charged a single penny. For the folks there it sounds very strange that you have to pay for the voice and text messages you receive.
In our home plan, we pay $20 a month for unlimited text messages – receive and send both.
Cell phone spam is known as smishing…
The spam text message, known as “smishing”, may come in the form of offering you free gift cards, cheap mortgages and “extremely” urgent problems with your bank account.
These may all be spams and that means they (close to 80% of spammers – according to Cloudmark, makers of anti-spam software) are out to scam you out of your money.
Compare the text spam to the spam you receive in your email and the ratio is close to 8 to 1 – 8 being phone text spam.
Ways to spam and con you…
One of the best and easiest ways to con you is to redirect you to a website and sell you something that you may not need at all. So don’t click on the website link.
In addition, the website may install malware on your phone to suck up all the personal data you may have stored on your phone especially your smartphone.
An increasing number of folks do their banking and investment business on smartphones. It’s easy, convenient and almost in real time.
The spam text message may also tell you to dial a phone number where your personal and financial information is solicited out of your phone.
Don’t provide any of your information lest they will steal your identity or perhaps sold to third parties who will send you more spam texts.
How to protect yourself…
There are ways to protect yourself from smishing.
If spammers want to confirm they have a live and active contact so that they continue sending you spams, they will text you with the instructions to text back “STOP” or “NO” to prevent future texts. Don’t answer.
What you should do is forward the text to 7726 (SPAM on most smartphone keyboards.) This will alert your wireless carrier to block future texts from the spam senders.
For many phones, especially smartphones, anti-malware software is available for download. The downside of that is battery life may be reduced. Check with your carrier or manufacturer of your phone for recommendations.
Another step you can take is to install upgrades to your security software. The spammer may send you text to upgrade your security. If they do, don’t reply. Independently, check for updates on your provider’s website.
Never store credit card or bank account log-in information in emails or notes on your smartphone. The spammer have some of the best software and hardware available at their disposal and it will suck up your personal and financial information out of your phone.
Banks and other legitimate businesses will never send customers unsolicited texts. So if you receive a text message promising you $1,000 gift card, ignore it.
In a Nutshell
Take advantage of these and many other ways and protect yourself from smishing. Spamming of any kind is not only an art but is also a science in that some of the best technology is available to the spammer.
Spammers are nothing but scammers. They are con artists who will stop at nothing to con you out of your money.Facebook.com/doable.finance