Scammers Are Targeting Toronto Companies With Fake Bank Text Messages
Toronto companies are being warned about new bank text message scams attempting to steal information. The scams usually start with a text message that looks like it’s from a legitimate bank. The message will often state suspicious activity on the recipient’s account and ask them to click on a link to verify their information. Once the person clicks on the link, they are taken to a fake website that looks almost identical to the real one. The fake website will then ask the person to input their personal and financial information, which the scammer steals.
These scams are becoming increasingly common, so it’s essential to be aware of them. If you receive a suspicious text message, do not click on any links; instead, report it to your bank immediately. Additionally, never input your personal or financial information on a website unless you are sure it is legitimate. Taking these precautions can help protect you from becoming a scam victim.
What Is the Scam and How Does It Work?
Toronto companies are all too familiar with the influx of spam and phishing attempts via text message. The latest scam to hit the city comes in the form of a text message from what appears to be a bank. The message claims that there is suspicious activity on the recipient’s account and that they need to confirm their identity or account information by clicking on a link to update their information.
This is a scam known as “smishing” where scammers use text messages to trick people into clicking on links or calling phone numbers that can lead to the theft of personal information. The term “smishing” stands for “SMS phishing” – whereas “SMS” stands for Short Message Service, the technical term for a text message. Three examples of fake banking text messages that have been used in this scam:
- “We’ve noticed some unusual activity on your account. To help protect you, we’ve temporarily suspended your access. Please click the link (link provided) to reactivate your account.”
- “Urgent! We are having technical difficulties with your account. Please click the link (link provided) to update your information and resolve the issue.”
- “Account Holder, please log in to your online banking account to confirm your identity. Log in to our secure online banking website: Please click (link provided).”
The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to never click on links provided in text messages, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source.
What Are Some Red Flags to Watch Out For?
There are several red flags to watch out for regarding bank text message scams. First, be suspicious of any text messages that purport to be from your bank but that you did not proactively sign up for. If you didn’t opt-in to receiving text messages from your bank, then there’s no reason why they would be texting you.
Another red flag to watch out for is unexpected personal or financial information requests. Your bank should never ask you for your password, PIN, or other sensitive information via text message. If you get a text message asking for this type of information, do not respond; instead, call your bank directly to inquire about it.
Finally, look for text messages with typos or other grammatical errors. These are often signs that the message is not from a legitimate source. If your bank ever needs updated information, they will likely contact you via a different method to ensure the message gets through clearly.
How Toronto Companies Can Avoid Smishing Scams
There are several strategies Toronto companies can implement to protect themselves from smishing scams.
The first line of defense against smishing scams is employee training. Educating employees on how to spot and report phishing attempts can go a long way in protecting your company. Train employees on how to recognize smishing attempts. This can be done through educational materials and workshops. Some common indicators of a smishing scam include:
- The message is from an unknown sender
- The message contains grammatical errors
- The message is urgent or includes a sense of urgency
- The message requests personal information
Employees can report any suspicious messages to their IT department or security team if they are trained to spot these indicators.
In addition to employee training, technology solutions can also help protect Toronto companies from smishing scams. Various anti-phishing solutions are available that can help identify and block phishing attempts. These solutions typically work by analyzing emails and other communications for phishing indicators. Some common indicators that anti-phishing solutions look for include the following:
- Suspicious senders or domains
- Spoofed email addresses or phone numbers
- Questionable attachments or links
If a phishing attempt is detected, the anti-phishing solution can block the message and prevent it from reaching employees.
Another effective way to protect against smishing scams is implementing multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all corporate accounts. With MFA, employees will need to provide their username and password and a second factor, such as a code from a mobile app or email. This makes it much more difficult for attackers to gain access to corporate accounts, even if they have stolen employee login credentials.
Backup and Disaster Recovery Plans
Finally, Toronto companies should have backup and disaster recovery plans in case of a phishing attack. These plans should include steps for backing up data and restoring systems in the event of an attack. Having a plan in place can help minimize the damage from a phishing attack and get your company back up and running quickly.
While no single solution can protect against all smishing scams, combining employee training, technology solutions, and backup and disaster recovery plans can help Toronto companies reduce their risk. Implementing these strategies can help protect your company from smishing scams and other phishing attacks.
Prevention Is Key
Smishing attacks are a real and increasing threat to organizations and individuals. Toronto companies must be aware of the dangers of smishing and take steps to protect themselves. Employee training, technology solutions, backup, and disaster recovery plans can help reduce the risk of a smishing attack. Toronto companies can help keep their data and systems safe from smishing scams by taking these steps.
Tektonic Managed Services
If your Toronto company is looking for help with smishing prevention, Tektonic can help. We are a leading provider of IT support and managed services for businesses in Toronto and the GTA. We offer a wide range of IT services, including remote support, cloud computing, data backup and recovery, and more. We are dedicated to helping our clients stay ahead of the latest IT threats and keeping their systems safe from attacks. Contact us today to learn more.
Tektonic Managed Services is an IT Support and Computer Services company serving Toronto GTA. We provide services in and around Toronto, including York Region, Durham Region and Peel Region. Businesses like yours need technology support to run highly-effective organizations. Leverage pro-growth technology services for your company now!