As the remote workforce continues to grow, so too do the risks of Smishing attacks. While we’ve already covered what Smishing is and why it’s dangerous, it’s also important to understand the tactics typically used by hackers. Additionally, by understanding sloppy Smishing attack mistakes, you can more easily identify, avoid, and stop them.

Hand holding cell phone that further shows paragraphs about different smishing attacks.

Orange button says "Click Here for Larger Image."

How Can I Identify a Smishing Attack?

Like with Vishing and Phishing attacks, education is essential to identifying and stopping Smishing. If you know what to look out for, you’re more likely to recognize and avoid it. And when it comes to Smishing, specifically, poor grammar, scary content, and unknown numbers are all indications that you’re being targeted.

Of course, these elements on their own aren’t enough to prove you’ve been attacked. But if a message exhibits any of these traits, exercise caution. It’s better to be overcautious than to assume every text is coming from a trustworthy source.

What Can I do if I Suspect I’ve Been Smished?

The first thing to do after receiving a strange message is simple: don’t click on any links in that message, and don’t respond to it! Instead, think through ways to prove–or disprove–its validity. For instance, if someone texts you, “Hey, I’m your bank,” look up your bank’s number and give them a call. However, you should never call the number that texted you–if it belongs to a cybercriminal, they’ll simply pretend to be your bank before asking for your credentials.

If you don’t recognize a number, don’t dismiss it as Smishing immediately. Rather, assume that it might be Smishing and take proactive steps to protect yourself. For instance, if the number says, “Hey, I’m your friend Joe, this is my new number,” try to contact Joe a different way for proof (like email or social media). Better yet, the next time you see Joe in person, simply ask if he’s changed his number.

Smishing attacks can be hard to spot. But there are several common mistakes and tactics that make them easier to identify. If you suspect you’ve been Smished, exercise caution. Don’t panic, but don’t assume every number can be trusted, either. Instead, keep an eye out for odd numbers, grammar issues, or texts that simply don’t “seem right.” The more alert you are, the more prepared you’ll be against attack.