top of page

Smishing: Protecting Yourself Against Text Message Scams

Updated: Mar 15


In our digital age, communication extends beyond emails and phone calls. Enter smishing—a blend of “SMS” and “phishing.” In this blog, we’ll explore how smishing preys on trust and how you can stay vigilant.

What Is Smishing?

Smishing involves sending fraudulent text messages that appear to be from reputable companies. The goal? To trick individuals into revealing personal information like passwords or credit card numbers.

The Anatomy of a Smishing Attack

1. Urgency and Impersonation

  • Urgent Messages: Smishing attacks create a sense of urgency. Imagine a text claiming to be from Wells Fargo: “Follow this link to confirm your $128 purchase.”

  • Fake Incentives: Scammers dangle enticing rewards, like: “Congratulations! You’ve won a 4-day cruise! Click here to claim your prize.”

2. VoIP Calls and Caller ID Spoofing

  • VoIP Calls: Smishing often uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for global reach.

  • Caller ID Spoofing: Scammers falsify caller information, making detection difficult.

3. Email Impersonation Follow-Up

  • Email Prelude: Some attacks start with an impersonated email from a trusted source. The scammer asks for your cell phone number.

  • Text Message Continuation: Once they have your number, they switch to text messages—bypassing email security.

Protecting Yourself

1. Verify the Source

  • Independent Verification: If an unexpected text claims to be from a specific company, don’t trust it blindly.

  • Call the Source: Use a reliable number (e.g., from your billing statement) to verify the message’s legitimacy.

2. Guard Your Information

  • Be Skeptical: Avoid sharing personal or financial details via text unless you initiated the conversation.

  • Debt Claims: If someone says you owe a debt, know your rights and demand written verification.

3. Prize Scams: A Reality Check

  • Contests and Prizes: You can’t win if you didn’t enter. Treat unexpected prize notifications with caution.


In 2024, smishing is a real threat. Stay informed, verify messages, and protect your personal data. Next week, we’ll explore more security insights. Until then, keep your guard up against digital trickery! 📱🛡️

man responding to a texting scam


bottom of page