Top 5 SMS Phishing Scams You Should Have on Your Radar

You have probably lost count of the number of times you have received an SMS (text message) from a person or organization you know, and it seemed out of the ordinary.  Phishing via text message has been on the rise. When you receive a strange or slightly “off” SMS, bear in mind that a fraudster is eagerly waiting for you to fall for it, and it can mean serious trouble for your personal and business IT security.

SMS Phishing scams are now more popular than scam phone calls. In 2021, American consumers lost about $770 million as a result of these fraudulent activities. SMS phishing attacks revolve around tricking individuals to provide personal information and data. Most times, these criminals pose as family members, business associates, friends, and even reputable organizations.

As insignificant as it may seem, cybercriminals make use of this medium to obtain passwords, usernames, and bank details of innocent individuals to commit identity theft. Most times, they employ tactics that are genuine and empathetic.

If you think you can’t fall prey to these malicious activities, think again! It would surprise you to know that SMS phishing (known as “smishing”) is now prevalent in society. For this reason, you must think twice before accepting every SMS that comes into your phone as legitimate.

In this article, we look at the Top 5 SMS phishing scams that you may encounter soon, if you haven’t already.

Smishing Scams to Watch Out For

There are numerous methods these cybercriminals use to commit fraud and leave you in serious trouble. It’s important to have these on your radar so you can identify them when they come in.

  1. “You’ve Won a Prize” SMS: Everyone loves the idea of winning a prize. And often our excitement gets the better of us. So, when you get a message congratulating you for winning a prize, you may not pause to fully understand the content of the message, and instead, be inclined to click a link to see what you’ve won. Always be suspicious of these types of messages about prizes that come out of the blue for contests you’ve never entered.
  • Package delivery SMS: The UK finance reports that fake package delivery scam texts are on the rise. Surprisingly, these texts appear to be real and direct from the delivery company. There is normally some “problem” that the recipient is instructed to address, and the SMS will contain a link and encourage you to click on it. When you do, you will be required to put in your personal information and possibly payment card details into a phishing site.
  • Family Member Requires Help: This is one of the most disturbing SMS phishing scams. A lot of people would go through thick and thin to rescue their loved ones from trouble. Cybercriminals are aware of this fact and make use of it to exploit innocent individuals. A common tactic is that the sender tries to convince you that your family member is in a crisis and requires financial assistance. Do not panic when you get such messages. Rather, call your family member directly to find out if it is true or not. It could be the case of a hacked SIM card.
  • Hitman Scam SMS: Cybercriminals can go to any extent to achieve their goals including fabricating lies to scare you. You may receive a message that states that someone had been paid to kill you. The sender would try to cajole you into believing such stories and convince you to pay a certain sum. Sometimes, the sender will try to convince you to believe that your family member has been kidnapped and a ransom is required to set him/her free. To make it look real, accurate information about you or the individual is provided. This is often scraped off social media sites, where anyone can find details to make these disturbing frauds more convincing.
  • Verify Your Bank Details: Considering the importance of the financial institution, everyone is quick to act fast when bank-related messages are sent to us. Lots of fraudulent activities that are hiding under the guise of notable financial institutions have enabled the theft of banking information. Banks ask for personal or banking information via text message. Often these scams will direct you to a spoofed site that might look like that of your bank in an attempt to trick you into signing in with your online banking credentials. It’s best to never click a link in an SMS to get to a website (especially one you need to log into).


SMS Phishing Scams are closer to you than you think. These activities are independent of social status, age, or gender. With the increase of mobile to access business apps and data, scams like these can put cybersecurity in danger for any business.

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson area business put mobile security measures in place to combat these types of attacks. You can contact usat 520-335-7553.