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Beware this phishing scheme that could instantly compromise your smartphone

This afternoon Kaspersky has alerted us to a phishing scheme that warrants an immediate warning for our readers.

The scheme is said to originate in the Middle East but Kaspersky has seen evidence that ne’er-do-wells in other countries are using the technique to launch phishing campaigns.

According to the cybersecurity solution firm, an attacker will assume the guise of a postal service texting a customer. That text asks customers to pay a small amount of money for the shipping costs of a package.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a scam like this but what is alarming is that once a user clicks on the link provided in the text message, their device is compromised.

This, Kaspersky says, can allow an attacker to garner financial information from the user and potentially make off with more money than the victim expected.

“Because it is not a complex phishing attack, it has already gained traction in other parts of the world with fraudsters able to pose as virtually any service provider from prepaid electricity to airtime, naming just a few examples,” explains enterprise sales manager at Kaspersky in Africa, Bethwel Opil.

What makes this particularly concerning is how believable these phishing attempts are getting. Where once poor grammar and terrible spelling were sure signs something was a scam, these days cybercriminals have improved and it’s getting harder to tell when something is or isn’t legit.

You are able to delete a message before opening and we recommend that our readers get in contact with the company claiming to be sending the SMS directly. To that end, we advise searching for the company’s name online and heading to the official website for contact details.

Don’t click any links or respond in any way until you have spoken to a person and they have confirmed the SMS is legitimate. Sure, it’s a pain to spend time on hold or chatting to a firm but you might just end up saving somebody a headache.

Remain vigilant folks, cybercriminals are smarter than ever and their techniques are getting so good sometimes even we fall for them.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

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