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Thurles – Beware Of Smishing Scam

Smishing, as many people will be aware, is a scam where fraudsters send text messages to random mobile phones. It gets its name from a combination of the words ‘SMS’ (as in text message) and Phishing, latter which attempts to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.

This morning Thurles.Info received a message from one of our very alert readers.

Our reader writes:-

“I thought I would let you know about a very sophisticated Smishing Scam that was tried on me this morning.

I received a text from +0818752752. The text contained a genuine looking tracking number and the following message: “Your delivery has been stopped at our depot today 24/08/20. Please resolve the issue here: followed by a link that I won’t reproduce here”.

No company name and the link was http not https, which made me suspicious! But the lure in such matters is always very strong – especially if you have an online order pending!

Anyway, I fired up Windows 10 Virtual Sandbox, opened a browser in it and typed in the link I was given.

This brought me to a very realistic looking courier website, albeit a courier I hadn’t heard of before.

They had “tracked my package” and told me there was a problem with a big flashing button “Continue”! I cautiously followed on – safe in my virtual machine!

They explained there was a delivery charge due and if I didn’t pay it in the next 24 hours my package would be returned! Eventually I landed on a payments page with a very dodgy looking URL in the address bar. This was looking for all my details, name address, phone number and of course credit card details. It even had a small charge pre-filled on the payment amount field.

At this point I closed the browser and the virtual session.

I have the matter reported it to my local Garda Station.

This is the most sophisticated scam I have seen yet and is designed to prey on people who are ordering a lot more online these days due to Covid restrictions.”

Please be warned and to our alert reader ‘Sir, Many Thanks’

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