New and dangerous SMS scams in circulation: Your private data is at risk

New and dangerous SMS scams in circulation: Your private data is at risk

The “new voicemail” – that’s all it takes to lure consumers into the trap. SMS with this content and a link to the unknown is currently dangerous.

Dortmund – Scammers and hackers are not resting. Time and time again they find new ways to deceive and harm users. There is currently another SMS scam.

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SMS fraud is short but effective: it imitates a mailbox and deceives consumers

The new scam may save words, but that’s why it should be especially effective. Because it reminds us of typical SMS in a mailbox, which tells you that a message has been left.

“New Voicemail” – That’s all in the scam message, followed by a link to the purported voicemail. Such messages are not uncommon. Depending on the network provider, these SMS are sent as soon as you miss a call and someone is talking on the digital answering machine.

Consumer Advice Center NRW warns of new SMS scams – don’t click on the link!

However, the unusual thing is to send a link to an unknown page in such SMS. To access voicemail messages, it is usually enough to contact your mailbox – the link is not necessary.

And at this point, NRW Consumer Counseling warns: Don’t click on the link. Because it does not lead to the mailbox or leave a message. Instead, users are then prompted to install a new app.

SMS Phishing Attack: Data is at risk and can be stolen

If a user installs the app thinking that they will be able to listen to their messages in the future, they have fallen into the trap. This application can cost the user dearly, it can copy and steal smartphone data, send batches of text messages unnoticed through their mobile phone or cause damage to the device.

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The scam is very reminiscent of this year’s SMS fraud, as an alleged package was announced. After clicking on the link, the contact details were also read and the message could continue to spread without hindrance.

This type of scam is also known as phishing. Criminals obtain personal data fraudulently. This becomes especially dangerous when it comes to account data – such as in the current phishing attack on bank customers.

The Consumer Advice Center in North Rhine-Westphalia is currently warning about news containing this content.

© NRW Consumer Advice Center

Fake SMS Warning: Users should look carefully and are not allowed to type blindly

Whether it’s an email or a text message, users should always look twice before blindly clicking anywhere. Therefore, the Consumer Counseling Center advises the following:

  • Users should pay close attention to the number from which the message is coming. The text messages with the voicemail notification always come from the same number.
  • Usually the mailbox does not send links to unknown Internet sites.
  • Users can call the mailbox themselves to listen to the messages. The number is usually saved under Contacts.
  • Many service providers provide applications that can be used to listen to voicemail messages. However, they are not sent via SMS, but can be downloaded from Google Playstore or Apple App Store.

I haven’t even received scam SMS – but be careful with this setup

In fact, there is a way to prevent you from receiving such scam text messages in the first place. As the Consumer Advice Center writes, there is a possibility in many messaging apps who you can receive messages from and who not.

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So it is possible for users to receive messages only from people in their contact list. Once the setup has been made, it is necessary to ensure that no service offers such as bank information or appointment reminders arrive – unless the corresponding numbers are previously saved in the contact list.

Accordingly, some smartphones should also provide spam filters. But until such messages do not exist in the first place, users should spare their data and enter the mobile number only when it is absolutely necessary.

If it’s too late: Under no circumstances should you reply to fake SMS

But if it is too late and you are already bombarded with spam SMS, under no circumstances should you click on the link in the message or reply to the message. Because that would only indicate to senders that the number is active.

According to the Consumer Advice Center in North Rhine-Westphalia, the number can be blocked, but that doesn’t really help. Because the phone numbers from which fraudulent SMS are sent are constantly changing.

Fraudulent SMS: Android Is More Vulnerable Than iPhones – You Can Do It

In general, Android smartphones are more susceptible to such fraud. Because: With iPhones, only installing apps from the internal App Store is possible by default. This means that you are immediately warned if an app from an unknown provider is installed.

With Android, on the other hand, you must first do this setup yourself. Depending on the OS version, this can be done under “Install unknown apps”. Terms can be searched easily.

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But what if everything is already late and you clicked on the link in the scam SMS? Then the smartphone should be switched to flight mode immediately. This prevents the malicious app from sending more data.

If everything is delayed after SMS fraud and nothing works: Reset your mobile phone

Before taking any further steps, those affected should secure all evidence and take screenshots. This can then be used to file a police report (other warnings from RUHR24).

In order to recover malware from a cell phone, the smartphone can be restarted in safe mode, according to the Consumer Advice Center, and then a search is conducted for recently installed and unknown apps. Consumer advocates say, “In the worst case, the only thing that helps is resetting the device to its delivery state.”

SMS scams: bulk mail costs – inform your network provider immediately

In addition, the mobile service provider must be informed of the incident, and proof of costs must be requested for any text message that has been sent.

If the provider insists on paying the costs incurred by sending bulk SMS, one option is to file a criminal complaint and announce that the transmission has been carried out by the malware.

If the provider continues to insist on payment, customers can contact the Federal Network Agency. Some home insurance policies also protect against harm from phishing. For this purpose, those affected should check the insurance conditions.

Rubiklistenbild: © Jens Kalaene/dpa; Collage: RUHR24

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