6 tips to avoid mobile message scams

Edee Carey2021-07-29

Unfortunately, there will always be people who try to scam and defraud others, including through SMS and other mobile channels. But there are a few simple tricks you can follow to catch scammers in their tracks! Follow these tips to see if you’ve received a scam message, what to look out for, and how to protect yourself in the future.

It’s important to think twice when you receive messages, especially if something seems off. Review the checklist below to determine if you’ve gotten a scam message.

  1. Is the language correct?

    Most of the time, the language doesn’t make sense in a scam message. This might include misspellings, grammatical errors, or just unnatural English, potentially because the fraudsters used a translation program.

  2. Is the link credible?

    Scammers might include damaging links in their messages. Often these links are not credible and take you to a different URL than listed. The SMS channel does not currently support hyperlinking, so the sender cannot hide the final destination as you might be able to do in emails for example.

    Make sure you don’t click on the link if you’re not sure about the sender. Start by searching for the sender’s website directly and going from there. If you don’t find the same information as you received in the text message, it’s most likely a scam message.

  3. Is it reasonable for you to receive an SMS or message from this sender?

    Was the message expected from the sender? Have you been waiting for a message from the sender at this time and on the channel they’ve sent it (SMS, WhatsApp, Viber, etc.)? If not, double check why you might have gotten this message. Verify the identity of the sender with the source directly.

  4. Are you a member or customer?

    If you are not a member or customer of the sender, they will not send you a message. In fact, under GDPR, companies are not allowed to send you messages unless you have a relationship with them and typically you consent to their communications when you provide them with your phone number and contact details.

    For example, WhatsApp has a strict opt-in policy.

  5. Is the message too good to be true?

    Have you received a message with an offer that sounds a little too good? Then it probably is.

  6. Do not disclose critical information

    It’s common for scammers to ask for sensitive information or request a payment, but keep in mind authorities and companies never send messages to ask for passwords or personal/account information. If you feel unsure, call the organization or company in question and ask if they sent the message.

    Remember, scams do happen, so stay alert, be cautious, and protect yourself against scammers with these tips! Have any questions? Get in touch!