Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Got a weird text about a package delivery? It could be a scam.

Vox: “The coronavirus pandemic has produced a ripe environment for text message phishing attacks. Such scams are socially engineered to exploit people’s vulnerable impulses, experts say, and sharply rose in 2020. Many Americans sign up for text message notifications and reminders, from health care providers to shipping services, but as SMS phishing becomes more widespread, consumers will have to exercise more vigilance with texts of unknown origins. According to the security firm Proofpoint, mobile phishing attempts increased by more than 300 percent in the third quarter of 2020, compared to the second. These scammers are primarily impersonating financial institutions and major technology companies, although the Proofpoint report noted that they’ve also zeroed in on “brands that consumers are frequently turning to during the pandemic.” The US Department of Health and Human Services warned the public in late December of potential fraud schemes related to Covid-19 tests, contact tracing, vaccine eligibility, and Medicare prescription cards. An unsuspecting recipient might be prompted to click on a hyperlink sent via text to confirm the delivery of a delayed package or to check the status of a Covid-19 test. The wording of these attacks might vary; people have received malicious texts about Netflix or Amazon accounts being locked due to a declined payment, for example. Regardless of the method, the scammer’s goal is to get away with a person’s financial details and personal data, which could be used for identity theft…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.