Lethbridge police are warning the public to be wary of unsolicited text messages, which claim to be from banks, cell phone carriers or other sources that appear to be legitimate, especially when the messages contain links.
Police say “smishing” is the SMS text version of email phishing scams. In a press release, police say that these types of scams are prevalent and that they are aware of multiple residents who have recently received messages disguised as their cell phone provider.
According to officers, the scam texts allege the victim has overpaid their monthly cell phone bill and must click a link included in the message to deposit their refund.
Law enforcement officers are advising residents who receive such messages — or any other solicited texts, which contain the link — to not click on them. Police say if someone receives a text message from a company they do business with, they should call them first to verify information prior to taking any action.
Police also say that people can take the following tips into consideration in order to avoid being duped by these increasing scams:
- Do not reply directly to any spam text message, as this lets scammers know your number is legitimate and they can sell it or bombard you with smishing messages.
- Do not give out any personal information via text message. Many text scams will ask for verification of personal information such as account details or credit card numbers. Even if the message looks like it’s from a company you do business with, most do not request this information by text message.
- Do not click on links in your text messages. Doing so could potentially install malware that can collect information from your phone.