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How To Spot A Text Message Scam [Guide]



The interconnected, digital era surely has its conveniences with everyone being able to work remotely. However, we must forget that there are two sides to every coin. Meaning, this same digital world we live in has its fair share of cons. One such trend that has surfaced recently is phishing- A social engineering attack used to steal sensitive information. These are nothing but attempts by malicious hackers who are fraudulently impersonating some other entity in order to make quick money. It can take the form of an email, phone call, or even a text message scam. The problem is that these messages seem so convincing and normal at times, that you don’t think twice before sharing your personal details. In order to prevent yourself from being duped by such a text message scam, keep reading. 

How To Spot A Text Message Scam: Steps

Read below to know more about how to spot a text message scam.

Don’t Click On An Unknown Link 

The number one rule to protect yourself from something bad happening is to never ever click on an unknown link. These scammers will try their best to get you to do that. You may find attractive incentives such as a free iPhone, free tickets or click here to claim your lucky prize. Don’t fall for these gimmicks. Nobody is sitting out there giving away free prizes to people who have never even entered themselves into a competition. Simply ignore these messages and delete them. 

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Everything Is In The Details 

Pay close attention to each and every little aspect of the message. From grammar, punctuation to random capitalization of words, spelling errors, and more. All these are signs of a text message scam. In addition to a clickbait URL, these are some of the things you should look out for. Of course, there might be instances when the text message looks perfectly safe with impeccable English but that doesn’t mean you should trust it immediately. 

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How Relevant Is The Message To You? 

A text message scam would like to establish some relevance and credibility before duping you. They might have access to some of your personal details such as your name, for instance. They might even provide you with a link to their company’s website. It might look real and function properly but there are high chances it’s a fake one. You need to check two things to ensure legitimacy- 

  • The URL of the website in the address bar does not match the company’s official website URL, even though the website is functional. 
  • If, upon clicking on the link in the SMS, you are redirected from one website to another quickly. 

Even if any one of the above two conditions is satisfied, you must be very careful. There are high chances that this could be a text message scam. 

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Common Mistakes To Avoid 

Any SMS congratulating you on winning a lottery, offering free products, or anything similar, immediately be alert. High chances that this sender is trying to fool you. Sometimes, you might also receive an SMS saying you have to pay additional courier charges for whatever reasons, even though you have already paid the full amount before or it’s COD. This could not only lead to a breach of your bank details but even worse, your whole account could be drained in seconds. Never ever share your personal or sensitive details with an untrusted third party.

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Last but not the least, to reiterate once more, never click on suspicious links. Even though you click on it, realize it’s a scam and close it, it might just be some ransomware designed to harm your phone. 

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What If The Message Is Genuine? 

If you really think the message is relevant to you, genuine, and does contain a safe link, there’s an easy way to find out. Simply contact the company or the person who has sent you the message to check its authenticity. This way you can personally cross-check and be assured that the SMS is genuine indeed. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

So, if you keep in mind the above-mentioned pointers, you will definitely be able to spot a text message scam. Share this around with your near and dear ones to prevent them from falling for one. For more useful tech articles, stay tuned to our website

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