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Protecting yourself from text scams or smishing

Are you one of those receiving random texts that offer too-good-to-be-true jobs or those that say you won in a promo? Well, this is a reminder that you have to be careful about these because you might become a victim of text scams or smishing.
How to protect yourself from text scams or smashing?

Avoid text scams

According to Reader's Digest, smishing is the combination of the words SMS and phishing. It’s a phishing scam that operates through text messages, it noted.
Sample text scams with links that you SHOULD NOT click
Sample text scams with links that you SHOULD NOT click

Smishing scams are fake texts that attempt to get one's personal information by pretending they come from a reliable source, it added.

In the Philippines, local telcos like Globe and Smart have reported about blocking thousands—reaching even over millions—of smishing messages this year alone.

While this scheme may seem intimidating at first, there are ways how you can protect yourself from being a victim.

For iPhone users, you can filter messages by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Settings app
Step 2: Tap Messages
Step 3: Enable Filter Unknown Senders option

For Android users, you can follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Messaging app
Step 2: Tap the three dots icon in the upper right of the screen
Step 3: Choose Settings
Step 4: Tap Spam Protection
Step 5: Turn on Enable Spam Protection

Some Android phones do not have this feature, which will require downloading an app

According to Geekflare, some of the best apps that offer such features are Spam blocker for Android, Block text, and Truecaller.

You may also try the new Windows Defender by Microsoft as it worked very well for us as well.

Smart has also shared some tips against smishing.

First on the list is blocking the numbers that send spam. This way, you are able to quickly remove yourself from the attacker’s reach.

Second, never share one-time pins and only enter your passwords and OTP on official websites.

Third, never click suspicious links.

Directly reporting spam texts to your network is also a way to protect yourself, and others.

For Globe users - Submit a report through https://www.globe.com.ph/stop-spam.html.
For Smart users - Call *888 through your mobile phone or 8881111 through your landline or contact them through the Smart Communications Facebook page, and @SMARTCares on Twitter.
For DITO users - Call the DITO hotline 185, or submit a report to the DITO.ph website, through email (customerservice@dito.ph), or through live chat via the DITO app.

The National Telecommunications Commission is also open for spam reports through https://ntc.gov.ph/complaint-page-2/.

Keep in mind that these are only a few tips on how you can protect yourself from smishing.

While all these ways are available, the first line of defense against such unfortunate events is by NOT REPLYING. Doing otherwise will only make you more vulnerable to such attacks.

Just like what they say, it’s better safe than sorry.

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