Text message phishing
According to the FBI, the number of reported phishing incidents went from 114,702 incidents in 20191, to 241,324 incidents in 2020. 2
What to watch for:
- Fake email address. Most companies use a short code to send text alerts, not an email address. Emails may be from a look-alike domain and not a legitimate firm or company.
- Suspicious links. The URL should include the company name and website domain (ameriprise.com, for example). Always be cautious of shortened URLs from services (bit.ly or tinyurl.com, for example).
- Urgent or threatening message. Messages are written to try to ‘bait’ you with an urgent situation that requires you to take immediate action. If the text contains a threatening message, it’s probably a scam.
What to do if you suspect a text phishing scam
- Be wary of links sent through text messages.
- If the text message seems suspicious, do not respond.
- Visit company websites directly to check on your account activity.