US warns of citizens of rising SMS phishing attacks

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has warned US citizens of a rising tide of SMS phishing attacks in the country.

According to Bleeping Computer, the FCC has tracked consumer complaints and found that complaints about unwanted text messages have risen steadily in recent years from around 5,700 in 2019 to 8,500 in 2022.

Some independent reports estimated billions of robotexts each month, with RoboKiller estimating consumers received over 12 billion robotexts in June.

The FCC said some of the smishing baits include claims about unpaid bills, package delivery issues, bank account problems and law enforcement actions. Other ones include fraudsters pretending to be from government agencies like the IRS or companies people are familiar with.

To defend against SMS phishing attacks, the FCC has recommended citizens do not respond to texts from unknown numbers or any other that appears suspicious. In addition, individuals should never share sensitive personal or financial information by text and should also be on the lookout for misspellings or texts that originate with an email address.

Furthermore, individuals should think twice before clicking any links in a text message, governments rarely if ever initiate contact by phone or text and if a business sends a text you weren’t expecting, it is important to look up their number online and call them back.

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