Reports of ’smishing’ scams have jumped in the first six months of 2021, according to Which? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Reports of ’smishing’ scams have jumped in the first six months of 2021, according to Which?

But what is ‘smishing’ and what are the scam signs to look out for?

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What is smishing?

Phishing is the fraudulent practice of sending emails pretending to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

‘Smishing’ is SMS phishing scams, which instead involve texts often pretending to be from banks, delivery companies and phone networks.

Which? said figures from Proofpoint show reports of smishing in the UK increased by nearly 700% in the first six months of 2021, compared to the second half of 2020.

This has been driven by scammers looking to take advantage of Covid pandemic-related shopping trends, such as people getting more deliveries to their homes and the increase in businesses sending texts to customers.

The figures suggest there is a three-to-one ratio of parcel smishing attacks to banking smishing attacks.

Voicemail smishing, which is where scammers send a text pretending to have a link to a voicemail, is a more recent technique.

Since establishing its own “scam sharer” tool in March 2021, Which? has received more than 9,000 reports to the tool.

Two-thirds (65%) of…

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