Recently, a Victorian couple lost their entire life savings for $100,000 to a banking scam.

As the world becomes more reliant on mobile technology, the need for customer and brand protection becomes significantly important. Protecting personal and sensitive information is vital for companies and their brand reputations.

As scam SMS messages are on the rise, it is crucial for Australian businesses to be prepared.

Whilst this shift is well underway, the transition has created opportunities for fraudulent activity, such as scams.

What are SMS scammers?

SMS scammers often imitate legitimate organisations by mimicking their brand names and identities (SenderIDs). This tactic, known as spoofing, can deceive customers into believing they're receiving communication from a trusted source.

SMS phishing, or 'smishing', is another tactic that involves sending fraudulent SMS messages to individuals.

To combat this, you must protect your personal information. To do this, companies can use a validation process to match the SenderID and legitimate calls-to-action (CTA) used by the business.

This denies scammers the opportunity to combine spoofing and smishing in their attacks, effectively reducing their messages' perceived legitimacy and effectiveness.

Examples of scam SMS messages

First, watch out for warning signs. Below are examples of the types of scam SMS you may receive. And when you do receive any of these text messages, ensure you block and/or delete them immediately.

Pending online shopping package

Receiving a message that sounds like you have a package waiting for you might be tempting, but think before you click on any links.

Example scam SMS: [Name], your package is pending. Kindly confirm your delivery here: [URL]

The "acquaintance" you never met

Be careful of smishing attempts where scammers use common names like John or Ann that aren't too obvious to appear to know you and lure you in with a friendly message and a spam URL.

Example scam SMS: Amazing weekend coming up. Want to hang out? Jess gave me your number. Check out my profile here: [URL]

Bank is closing your account

Beware of any smishing messages from scammers disguising themselves as your bank, to ask you to give up your password, PIN or other personal credentials. URLs may contain links to fake websites asking you to input your email address, usernames or passwords.

Example scam SMS: [Name], please confirm your PIN at [URL] to keep your account activated. Respond within 24 hours or your account will be closed.

You've won an award

Beware of the award scam SMS. Everyone loves to win something, but be extra cautious of phishing scams where hackers ask you to claim your prize/gift. Whatever you do, do not click on the link or you will be downloading malicious malware onto your phone, which will damage your phone.

Example scam SMS: [Name], you've won a gift! To redeem, go to [URL] to claim your $500 Amazon gift card.

Your debit card is locked

Do not reply or click on any links if you receive any text alerting that your debit card is locked. It is tempting to click on these types of links, but to avoid being scammed, contact your bank directly using their phone number (not via the SMS) to find out if this is in fact scam SMS, to avoid opening any scam SMS or clicking on any text message links.

Scam SMS: How To Prepare & What To Do

"With the rise of SMS scammers, it's essential to take proactive measures to protect your business and customers," says Andre Alexopoulos, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at SMSGlobal.

"Not only will it protect your customers and business, but it will also improve your ROI and reputation."

Introducing SecureSMSend, a new SMSGloal product which validates the authenticity of a SenderID or CTA.

By establishing these simple validation parameters, SMS messages are sent from organisations (origination endpoint) to mobile network operators (MNO) for delivery. The MNO can then verify the authenticity of the message, regardless of the route it took, before final delivery.

This process is similar to the endpoint encryption provided by a VPN service, but specifically for business SMS.

Protect company brand with 2FA and unique SenderIDs

Cybersecurity teams should be aware of this trend and take steps to protect their customers and brands. One way to do this is by implementing SMS-based two-factor authentication (2FA) for customer account logins.

Protecting the SenderID through a validation process is crucial in protecting your business and customers from scam SMS messages.

Benefits of implementing 2FA and SenderIDs

Here are a few benefits of implementing SMSGlobal's validation process for your Sender ID or CTA:

  1. Increase customer trust: By validating the senderID, you can ensure that your customers are receiving messages from a legitimate source. This helps to increase trust in your brand and reduces the likelihood of customers falling victim to scams.
  2. Reduce spam and scam messages: A validation process can help to filter out spam and scam messages before they reach your customers. This can help protect your customers from potential harm and reduce the number of unwanted messages they receive.
  3. Improve deliverability: A validation process can also improve the deliverability of your SMS messages. By ensuring that your messages are being sent from a legitimate source, you can reduce the likelihood of messages being blocked or marked as spam by mobile network operators.
  4. Protect your reputation: Scammers often use the names of legitimate businesses to scam individuals. By implementing a validation process, you can protect your business's reputation from being tarnished by scammers using your brand name.
  5. Better ROI: By ensuring that your SMS messages are reaching the intended recipients and are being sent from a legitimate source, you can improve the ROI of your SMS campaigns. This can help to increase customer engagement and drive more sales.

Now is the time. Protect your company and customers from scam SMS

In summary, don't click on any suspicious links. Avoid fake sites and phishing attacks by ignoring, deleting, and blocking SMS. Don't respond to SMS with sensitive data, personal details, or credit card details. If you protect yourself, your company, and your customers with Secure SMSend, businesses can be protected like never before.

With Secure SMSend, now's the time to protect your brand from scam SMS messages.

To learn more, reach out to SMSGlobal COO or call 1300 883 400.