What should you look out for in phone text messages to protect yourself?

Last Updated on 29 September 2023 by Daniel

Protecting yourself in phone text messages is essential, as scams and phishing attempts often target individuals through text messaging. Here are some things to look out for:

  1. Sender’s Identity:
    • Verify the sender’s identity, especially if you receive unsolicited messages.
    • Be cautious of messages from unknown or suspicious numbers.
  2. Grammar and Spelling:
    • Poor grammar and spelling mistakes can be indicators of phishing or scam messages.
    • Many fraudulent texts contain errors or awkward language.
  3. Urgent Requests:
    • Be skeptical of messages that create a sense of urgency, such as threats, deadlines, or promises of immediate rewards.
    • Scammers often use urgency to pressure recipients into taking hasty actions.
  4. Links and Attachments:
    • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or unverified sources.
    • Hover over links to preview the URL before clicking to ensure it matches the claimed source.
  5. Phishing URLs:
    • Watch out for URLs that look slightly altered or have misspelled domain names.
    • Scammers often mimic legitimate websites to steal personal information.
  6. Requests for Personal Information:
    • Never share sensitive personal information like Social Security numbers, bank account details, or passwords via text message.
    • Legitimate organizations won’t ask for such information through text messages.
  7. Suspicious Content:
    • If a message seems too good to be true or makes unrealistic promises, it’s likely a scam.
    • Be wary of messages offering prizes, lottery winnings, or free gifts.
  8. Caller ID Spoofing:
    • Scammers can spoof phone numbers to make it appear as if the message is from a legitimate source.
    • Don’t solely rely on the displayed phone number to verify the sender’s identity.
  9. Verify Requests:
    • If you receive a message requesting money or assistance from a friend or family member, contact them through a different channel (phone call, in person) to confirm the request.
  10. Check for Legitimate Contacts:
    • Ensure that your phone contacts are accurate and regularly updated.
    • Scammers sometimes pose as contacts you know.
  11. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
    • Enable 2FA on your accounts whenever possible to add an extra layer of security.
    • 2FA can help protect your accounts even if your password is compromised.
  12. Reporting Scams:
    • Report suspicious text messages to your mobile carrier or relevant authorities.
    • Some carriers provide tools to report and block spam messages.
  13. Use Security Apps:
    • Consider using security apps or services that can help identify and block spam and phishing messages.
  14. Educate Yourself and Others:
    • Stay informed about common text message scams and educate your friends and family to recognize and avoid them as well.
  15. Trust Your Instincts:
    • If something doesn’t feel right or if you have doubts about a text message, trust your instincts and take precautions.

Protecting yourself from text message scams and phishing attempts requires vigilance and caution. Always think twice before taking action on any unsolicited or suspicious text message, and prioritize your online safety.

By Daniel

I'm the founder and CEO of Lionsgate Creative, Password Sentry, and hoodPALS. Besides coding and technology, I also enjoy cycling, photography, and cooking. https://www.lionsgatecreative.com https://www.password-sentry.com https://www.hoodpals.com

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