While the name of this growing threat might sound funny, being a victim of it is no joke.
Similar to a “phishing” scam — where computer users receive an authentic-looking email that appears to be from their bank, Internet Service Provider (ISP), favorite store, or other organization – “smishing” messages are sent to you via SMS (text message) on your mobile phone.
What does the sender want? To defraud you.
“Criminals like smishing because users tend to trust text messages, as opposed to email, of which many people are more suspicious, due to phishing attacks,” says Stephen Cobb, a security researcher at ESET, a global cybersecurity company.
“As smartphones are the primary means of accessing the Internet in some countries, this has tempted criminals around the world to invest in scams that target these devices.”
“That means there is no shortage of skills in this space, skills that criminals can tap to target cellphone users in any country they chose,” Cobb adds.