Be on the lookout for 'smishing' scams

Cyber crime can have devastating consequences from losing life savings to identity theft.

Be on the lookout for 'smishing' scams

Saturday 20 March 2021 7:00

Cyber crime is impacting Northern Ireland with smishing attempts on the increase.

What is Smishing?

‘Smishing’, is a social engineering scam by text message.

Had an unexpected text recently? Think twice!

Cyber criminals exploit a user’s trust by impersonating a legitimate company they may have previously received texts from or are trusted, like a bank, or HMRC. They want you to take an action, like revealing your credit card details, which then enables them to steal money or personal information.

Even without sharing any personal or financial information, just clicking on a fraudulent link in one of these texts may enable cyber criminals to gain control over your device. If you receive a text message that asks you to click on a link that looks suspicious or asks you to provide information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it's likely to be a scam.

Protect yourself by following this advice:

Be wary of clicking on unknown or suspicious links

Ask yourself if the offer seems too good to be true

Don’t respond to unknown or suspicious numbers

Banks and reputable institutions won’t request personal information by text. If in doubt, call them and check

Forward suspicious texts to 7726 and emails to

How can you help others?

Anyone can become a victim but you can help by educating those around you, especially those who could be considered vulnerable to the threat, such as the elderly or less digitally-savvy family members. For more advice on how and where to report these scam messages, how to secure your devices and online accounts, and other common cyber threats, visit www.nicybersecuritycentre.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Alpha Newspaper Group

Characters left: 1500