Smishing…It sounds like something your dad used to say when you tried to beg off helping around the house to go fishing. “Fishing, smishing…we’ve got work to do!” he’d say. As funny as the name sounds, smishing is a serious modern-day problem. Smishing is a scam that targets smartphone users through texts. Would your parent recognize a smishing text if they received one?
What is Smishing?
Smishing combines the name for the technology used to send texts, SMS, and the word “phishing,” which means a con that tries to gain sensitive information. When a scam artist makes a smishing attempt, they send a text that attempts to get access to personal information. For example, a typical smishing text might pose as one from a financial institution saying there is a problem with an account. The text asks for personal information to help them solve the problem. Another type of smishing scam offers some sort of great deal, like a low-rate credit card or even a prize. When the recipient of the smishing text sends a text back, their identity may be stolen. Sadly, smishing is easy for scam artists since they can send millions of smishing texts simultaneously. Experts also say that scammers like smishing because people have become more suspicious of emails, but tend to trust texts.
How Can Senior Care Help Protect Your Parent from Smishing Scams?
There are steps you can take to help your aging parent avoid being a victim of smishing. For one thing, you can be there when your parent receives a questionable text and offer them guidance. But, what happens when you can’t be with your parent? That’s where a senior care provider can help. A senior care provider is a trusted individual who can also guide your parent on whether a text they receive may be real or not. Other ways you and your parent’s senior care provider can help avoid smishing schemes are:
- Remind your parent that banking institutions won’t ask for their PIN number or other sensitive information via a text message. Such texts should be deleted without tapping on any links.
- Install anti-malware on your parent’s phone.
- Keep an eye on the cell phone bill for any strange charges. If you see something suspicious, contact the cell phone provider to dispute the charges.
- Inform your parent about the danger of giving their cell phone number out. They should avoid entering contests that ask for their number and should never post the number on social media.
It can be hard to protect older adults from all of the scams that exist today, but having a senior care provider who is on their side and looking out for them can help. Senior care providers can also help your parent to avoid email phishing scams and fraudulent phone calls.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Greenville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.