SMS phishing

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In computing, SMS phishing[1] or smishing[2] is a form of criminal[3][4][5] activity using social engineering techniques. Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire personal information such as passwords and details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Short Message Service (SMS) is the technology used for text messages on cell phones.[6]

SMS phishing uses cell phone text messages to deliver the bait to induce people to divulge their personal information. As the mobile phone market is now saturated with smartphones which all have fast internet connectivity, a malicious link sent via SMS can yield the same result as it would if sent via email.


Many of the same defences that apply for Phishing also apply here. You should never respond or interact with an SMS message from someone you do not know. You may also notice that the telephone number may be in a strange or unexpected format. If there is any doubt as to the authenticity of the message avoid opening it and delete it straight away.


On March 9, 2012, Rewe issued a fraud alert regarding a large number of scam texts that offered a nonexistent $1000 gift card as bait.[citation needed]

In June 2018, The County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA) warned residents of a phone/texting scam that attempts to obtain cardholder information of CalWORKs, CalFresh, and General Relief clients throughout California.[7]