Safety Tips to Avoid SMS Scams

Safety Tips to Avoid SMS Scams

Since this is the digital age, many businesses focus most of their marketing strategies online, underutilizing one of the most powerful and personal channels—SMS messaging. SMS seems as if it’s been around for ages. Even with the rise of online messaging applications, it’s still here, yet businesses fail to use it as a marketing tactic.


Statistics show that 90% of all text messages are read within three minutes. If that’s the case, then it would make a fantastic tool for marketing tactics. Here are some ways you can utilize SMS marketing for your business:


  • VIP events
  • Flash sales
  • Loyalty programs
  • Exclusive coupon or discount codes
  • Limited promos for redemption
  • Updates, news, and other announcements


While SMS is a great marketing tool, it’s not completely safe from scammers. Any form of communication comes with the threat of unwelcome privacy intrusion and other forms of a cyber attack. Much like email, many cybercriminals utilize SMS to spread fake news and lure victims into clicking on suspicious links or performing tasks that would help hackers steal their personal data.


The more connected people are, and as online shopping and mobile banking become more convenient with a few taps on the phone, the easier it gets for hackers to steal data. To help you steer clear of SMS scams, here are some tips that will help you avoid falling into fraudsters’ traps.


Some Helpful Tips to Avoid SMS Scams


Pay close attention to anything out of character


Often, your gut feeling is always correct. If you feel like the message you have received from a brand or business seems suspicious because of the way it was phrased (i.e., unusual greeting and blatant grammatical errors), then your sense might be right.


For instance, a big brand would be unlikely to use slang or make grammatical mistakes in their SMS marketing materials. If you spot anything that’s out of character from a sender, be wary.


Take note of the unusually long number


Have you experienced receiving a text from an abnormally long number? Good call on ignoring it. Legitimate text messages normally come from a number with 11 digits or less, while marketing messages are often sent from a six-digit (or less) number. If you receive a text from an unknown sender with a number that is more than 11 digits long, you can best assume that it’s a scam attempt.


If it contains a link, be cautious


Scam messages often contain a link that, when clicked, leads the user to a suspicious website. The site may resemble a legitimate brand’s site but with a different domain. Scammers use this tactic to steal people’s personal details. The message may say something like your account has been compromised, and you need to reset the password. Doing so and entering your personal details will render the scammers successful in their phishing activity.


Confirm the facts of the matter via legitimate channels


What if the message that seemed out of character is actually legitimate? This is a valid question. Scammers feed on this “what if” trick to trigger concerns and fear and put the victim’s guard down. Before you respond to or delete a message that seems to hold water for you, go to the brand’s website to check a few things. See if the package reminder is real, or message them on their official channels to verify if the update or announcement you have received from the sender is legit.


Summing It Up


Cybercriminals have one goal in mind, and that is to steal your data for their benefit. There’s no harm in doing your due diligence to verify the legitimacy of the messages you receive. It’s better to be careful than become a victim of SMS scams.

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