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The increasing threat of brutal ‘smishing’ scam and how to protect yourself from it

The increasing threat of brutal ‘smishing’ scam and how to protect yourself from it

Fraudsters are getting more sophisticated at creating ways to trick you out of your money

You may have heard of phishing – a kind of attack where cybercriminals posing as a legitimate institution send emails asking for personal information, or with a malicious link that downloads malware on your computer.

Many of us will be trained to or had experience spotting these scam attempts, with dodgy-looking email addresses and bad grammar often being the giveaways that these are scams.

But if you think scammers are stopping there, think again.

Cybercriminals are now increasingly turning to ‘smishing’ - that’s ‘SMS phishing’ - in order to try and trick you and your grandma into handing over access to your bank accounts.

Fraudsters send text messages that are designed to look like they’re from a legitimate place such as a bank or government agency, containing links that take you to fake websites that steal your money.


The huge rise in scam attempts via this method has even prompted courier Evri to send out a warning, after it saw a 174% increase in reported scams compared to April 2023.

The fake messages often say that Evri is charging a ‘redelivery fee’, and include a link to pay it – but is in fact just a way for the criminals to steal your bank details.

‘These criminals use the “spray and pray” method, taking advantage of the millions of parcels we deliver to households every day,’ said Richa Bhuttar, chief information security officer at Evri, speaking to Metro’s This is Money.

So, now you know the threat that’s out there, how can you protect yourself?

Firstly, don’t let yourself be fooled by the name of the sender – cybercriminals manipulate the sender IDs to make them look almost identical to the real thing, so don’t think scam texts will only come from strange numbers you’ve never heard of.


Always be suspicious of any official-looking text you receive, especially if it’s asking for payment or for you to click a link.

Secondly, if you’re unsure, reach out to the company that’s sent the text via their official website, and ask them if they’ve texted you or if it’s a scam.

Companies are well-aware scammers imitate them and are trained to spot the signs, and will be able to check their records to see if they’ve texted you.

For example, despite what the scam texts say, Evri doesn’t charge a ‘redelivery fee’ - something you can quickly find out from their website.

If you think you’ve been a victim of this type of scam, you should talk to your bank or card provider immediately and report the scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Featured Image Credit: Getty/Black_Kira/synthetick