PHONE owners are being urged to watch out for dangerous text scams that raid your bank – and steal your private info too.
An official O2 security memo reveals the warning signs to help you stay safe.
Watch out for scam text messages[/caption]
The UK mobile network warned that scams are a growing threat to iPhone and Android owners.
And one common type of attack is known as “smishing”.
“‘Smishing’ refers to phishing attacks, or attempted scams, conducted over SMS texts or messaging apps such as WhatsApp – and it’s on the rise in the UK,” O2 warned.
“Scammers know how to impersonate legitimate organisations.
“These can include your phone network, bank, or delivery company (or even one of your close friends or relatives).
“Scammers can skilfully nudge you towards clicking links, sharing personal information or transferring money.
“Losing money is the last thing anyone needs right now.
“The criminal gangs behind scams are constantly developing more sophisticated methods – which means we need to be more sophisticated in our responses, too.”
The best advice is to steer clear of danger by being sensible and cautious.
How to spot smishing
O2 revealed a number of signs that you can look out for.
For a start, businesses won’t typically text you asking for a one-time code, password or other security information.
If you receive a text like this, it’s likely malicious.
You may also notice common “tell-tale signs” like spelling errors or an urgent tone telling you to act or call immediately.
This is intended to make you rush into acting without thinking it through.
O2 also said that you should watch out for web links, contact names or email addresses that are “incorrect, look strange or use substitute characters”.
“For example, a text from 02 (using the number zero, rather than the letter O),” O2 said.
“And remember: scammers are trying to exploit people’s desire to save money at the moment. If a deal feels too good to be true, it probably is.”
If you’re not sure whether a mobile message is authentic, don’t click any links or ignore any instructions.
The best advice is to try to verify the request yourself.
So if a text claims to be a business, contact the organisation directly using details on the official website or app.
“Confirm the message’s contents by checking with the organisation directly,” O2 advised.
“For example, if you’re expecting a parcel, you could be vulnerable to delivery scam texts containing links to ‘track your order’.
“But you should be able to check your package’s status on the verified company’s website rather than clicking links in a text.”