A small percentage of us are immune to spam SMS messages. Not only are unsolicited text messages incredibly irritating, but they are frequently a fraud. These communications can subject you to identity fraud and raise your likelihood of installing malware unintentionally.
You can adopt several preventive measures after you have clicked on a like to a spam text. You should immediately turn off the internet or leave the webpage where you have arrived after clicking the link. Avoid entering data into that webpage as well.
This article will explain what to do if you have clicked on a link to a spam text. Furthermore, the methods of phishing and spam text avoidance will be discussed as well. Lastly, the sources of such spam texts will also be elaborated on.
What Are Spam Messages?
Spam refers to uninvited and undesired communications. Typically, spam SMS does not originate from another device. They originate primarily through a computer and are delivered to your phone via email or instant messaging.
Given that they are sent digitally, sending them is inexpensive and simple. For spammers, it’s a numbers game; they deliver texts in mass, frequently to randomly selected or mechanically produced numbers, and they require only a few answers to legitimize their efforts.
Spam text messages can also result in unwelcome costs on your phone if your network provider assesses a fee for receiving text messages.
What Exactly Are Robotexts?
Robotexts are a sort of spam text, although they are simpler to ignore than robocalls, therefore they are less intrusive. Still, it’s frustrating to hear an incoming text message, check your phone, and discover that it’s spam.
The worst-case scenario is that spam texts or robotexts are frequently the beginning of a scam in which the sender hopes to get your personal information for illicit purposes.
Spam Text Message Samples
Not all unsolicited text messages are frauds, but the majority are. Swindlers employ a variety of tales to attempt to deceive you. Some of these common examples include:
- You must redeem a reward, gift card, or voucher that you have won.
- You are being offered a credit card with low or no interest.
- You were overcharged and are entitled to a reimbursement, potentially from the IRS or HMRC.
- Your account has now been disabled for your security, and you must reactivate it.
- You can receive assistance to repay your school loans.
- Your credit report contains unfavorable information that you may delete for a price.
- Suspicious behavior has been detected on your accounts, and you are forced to take additional action.
- There is an issue with your payment details; you must take action.
Fake SMS messages frequently attempt to generate a feeling of urgency, such as by suggesting that “immediate action is necessary” or “you have just two days to respond.”
To claim the gift or continue the offer, the messages often request personal information, such as your bank or credit card information or Social Security number.
Alternatively, you may be required to visit a link to obtain further information. The link then directs you to a bogus website wherein, if you sign in, the fraudsters can take your login information.
How Can You Identify A Fraudulent Message?
Scammers are utilizing identity masking technologies to alter the identity displayed as the caller ID in an effort to make fraudulent text messages appear more real.
This practice is called number spoofing. Online or offline, the main rule of fraud is that when something seems too tempting, it generally is. However, if you’re wondering how to determine if a communication is a hoax, there are telltale signs:
1. Unanticipated Interaction
Consider how a company often reaches you. If it’s not a text message, speak with them directly to confirm its authenticity. Remember that legitimate businesses would never approach you by text message and request personal or financial information.
2. Grammar And Spelling Mistakes.
A lack of professionalism in communication indicates that it is likely a hoax. In consumer correspondence, legitimate firms seldom make egregious spelling or grammatical mistakes.
3. Is The Message Pertinent To Your Needs?
For instance, if it notifies you of a package coming, have you ordered or anticipated anything? If you are informed of a reward, did you participate in a contest? If it’s regarding a gift voucher, is it from a store where you’ve shopped before?
Why Am I Receiving Spam Messages?
There are several methods spammers obtain your mobile phone number in order to send SMS spam or marketing texts. Even if you own a brand-new number, you may still obtain robocalls and robotexts since they may employ technologies to create numbers automatically.
Social media platforms sell your data. Popular and very well social networking services monitor your online activities and share that data with advertising. If you publish your phone number on social media, there’s a good likelihood that it already exists in marketing databases.
Filling up online forms, joining contests, or enrolling in loyalty programs are just a few of the many internet activities in which consumers divulge their phone numbers. There is a risk of your cell number falling into the wrong hands whenever you provide it online.
In addition, if you have ever reacted, even mistakenly, to a spam text or email, your contact information was likely marked as legitimate and could have been sold to other fraudsters, increasing your likelihood of receiving further junk calls and SMS spam.
What To Do When You Get A Spam Text Message?
- Never Reply
You must never reply to any unsolicited text messages. This verifies to the fraudsters that you are a genuine person and a possible target.
Sometimes spammers attempt to fool you into replying with phrases such as “text STOP to be deleted from our email list” Do not fall for this. If you respond, you may anticipate additional spam calls and texts. You would be better off not answering.
- Avoid Clicking Any Links.
If you click on a link in a spam message, you may be sent to a fraudulent website designed to steal your funds or personal information.
In some instances, the website might infect your smartphone with ransomware, which could spy on you or encrypt your files for ransom and reduce the efficiency of your phone by using memory.
- Do Not Reveal Any Private Details.
Remember that respectable institutions such as banks and government agencies do not send unsolicited text messages requesting personal or financial information.
Therefore, safeguard your personal information and use caution while disclosing it online. Be careful of any email or text requesting that you “update” or “verify” account information.
- Directly Visit An Organization’s Website.
If you are uncertain about the authenticity of an SMS message, you should contact the appropriate institution immediately.
You may use a search engine to locate their website and then click through on the search engine results, or you can put the URL straight into your browser’s address bar. Alternatively, you may obtain their mobile number and contact them to confirm.
What You Should Do If You Visit A Phishing Link?
Follow these measures to minimize the consequences if you accidentally click on a scam link and download a malicious file attachment:
- Separate Your Device
You must immediately unplug the hacked device from the Internet as the first step. If you are utilizing a wired connection, unplugging the Internet signal (wired cord) from your computer is the simplest method.
Find the Wi-Fi options on the gadget and detach it from the existing network if you are linked through Wi-Fi. If you can’t find your Wi-Fi network configuration on your smartphone, you should immediately turn off your Wi-Fi router.
This will limit the likelihood of malware propagating to other devices in your network, stop the virus from transmitting sensitive data from your device, and prevent unauthorized remote access.
- Protect Your Files
You must back up your data immediately after disconnecting from the Internet. In the course of recuperating from a phishing attempt, data may be lost or deleted.
If you routinely back up your information using external hard drives, USB flash drives, or cloud storage, you may only have to back up data that have been modified or generated since your last backup.
Concentrate on safeguarding especially sensitive papers and data, as well as valuable items such as family photographs and movies.
- Perform A System Scan For Malware
Whom you select to do this stage relies on your degree of technological proficiency. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you should have a specialist examine your equipment for infection. Request recommendations from your friends and relatives.
If someone claims to be able to repair computers or other electrical equipment, it does not necessarily follow that they can identify and properly remove malware.
If you choose to do this step on your own, conduct a complete, two-stage system scan. After disconnecting your computer from the Internet, perform a thorough scan with the anti-virus software.
You may still perform the scan without Internet connectivity, but you should avoid reconnecting because that would allow any virus to continue its course. Be patient as the scan might take considerable time to finish.
During this procedure, you must not use your smartphone for anything else. You will be informed when the scan is complete. Simply follow the program’s instructions to delete or quarantine any detected malicious files.
How to Stop Spam Text?
Blocking numbers and utilizing spam detection on your mobile device are two easy methods to stop receiving spam SMS.
1. Blocking Numbers
It is simple to block numbers, however specific procedures may differ depending on the brand, model, and system software of your mobile device.
By faking numbers, fraudsters may attempt to send you text messages from what looks to be a new number each time, making manual blocking more difficult.
Frequently, internet forms request phone numbers but keep in mind that the information you give may end up on email lists or databases. Unless needed or required, refrain from giving out your number to decrease the number of unsolicited messages and calls.
2. Do Not Publicly Display Your Cell Phone Number
For instance, avoid displaying your mobile phone number on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media platforms. If you wish to display your phone number, use a virtual number that’s not connected to your real phone number. This would be something like a Google voice number.
3. Be Mindful Of Your Cell Phone Bill.
Regularly review your phone bill. If you see costs that don’t make sense, contact your network provider to determine if you are getting or sending spam from your phone, or if any fraudulent charges were made using your account.
4. Determine Whether Your Carrier Provides Call Blocking.
Numerous major carriers provide call-blocking capabilities that enable you to temporarily block the phone numbers of unknown callers.
Several third-party applications, like Truecaller, and TrapCall may filter spam SMS. Keep in mind, however, that utilizing these applications requires you to share your data with them.
5. Use Antivirus Protection On Mobile Devices
So much of our private details are saved on smartphones and tablets that it is prudent to safeguard them with mobile security.
An antivirus program blocks malicious programs, websites, and files and prevents ransomware from monitoring phone conversations and text messages. In addition, it employs machine learning to monitor potential risks.
Message spam and unsolicited text messages are an annoyance and frequently the beginning of fraud. As always, keeping secure requires a mix of knowledge and basic cybersecurity practices.
We continue to receive unsolicited text messages on our phones. It is possible to get many spam SMS in a single day since spammers transmit their messages in bulk.
Text Message Spam Including A Link
Typically, attackers add a link to a malicious website in their spam letters. No one wants to risk having their passwords stolen or getting even more spam SMS by visiting the website.
After receiving a spam SMS, you may have accidentally clicked on the link. Or you may have been intrigued and opted to visit the link.
In any case, if you are concerned that the content is spam as well as the link is hazardous, you can protect yourself as follows.
1. Close The Web page Instantaneously
If you unintentionally click a link out of a spam message, you should immediately dismiss the website. This fundamental precaution may prevent the connection from causing additional harm. Or you may have clicked something else by accident.
Avoid clicking on hyperlinks in unsolicited text messages in the future. You should also avoid using the link preview tool to preview a link. Do not click on links within unsolicited SMS messages.
It is also advisable to remove the text or email with the link. Deleting the message stops you from clicking the link again by accident.
2. Never Enter Credentials Or Personally Identifiable Information
Never input your password straight into a website that you accessed via a link. There is no absolute assurance that this site is authentic. The bogus website may be attempting to deceive you into divulging your password.
Instead of copy-pasting the URL, navigate to the website using your browser. Use Google or even the URL to access the official website. This stops you from entering your credentials on a webpage that will harvest by accident.
Identifying phishing links is difficult. If you were fortunate enough to recognize the link as spam before entering your information, congratulations!
3. Changing Your Password
If one did not recognize the hyperlink was spam before it was too late, then you need to take further measures.
If you believe your password has been compromised, you should immediately reset it. This secures your account by preventing the attacker from utilizing the password they obtained.
If you put your credit or debit card or other financial details on a spam webpage. Contact your banking institution in order to safeguard your account.
4. Upgrade Your Mobile Device’s Operating System
Closing the connected page does not provide complete protection against spam texts. Although uncommon, some websites carry malware or viruses.
Malware on a website is difficult to determine without further analysis. Nevertheless, one of the most effective preventative measures is maintaining an up-to-date operating system on your phone.
Updates to your phone’s operating system are crucial for safeguarding it from known dangers. OS updates correct software vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. Be sure to check for updates frequently and install them quickly.
Phishing scams include the transmission of false email messages which appear to originate from reliable sources, such as an individual you know or a real firm with which you do business.
SMS phishing or “smishing” is another form of phishing that happens via text messages (SMS). Scammers employ this tactic to earn your trust so that you’ll visit a phony website, disclose confidential information, or email attachments on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
It can be conclusively said that in the digital era, phishing emails and texts have evolved into a severe yet inescapable hazard. Your best defense is to adhere to the rule of caution and delete all emails and messages that appear suspicious.
Remember that a genuine business or organization would never ask you to disclose sensitive, personal information over unsecured channels such as email, SMS, or pop-up messages.
If the letter is actually urgent, the originator will try to reach you via established channels such as telephone or postal mail.