The average Nigerian phone user received at least 65 spam text messages per month in 2019. The situation might likely be worse this year as we are witnessing a surge in scams that use SMS as their method of delivery. The latest iteration of these fraudulent text messages is claiming to be from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Sample Fraudulent Text Messages
Below are two fraudulent text messages purporting to be from the NCDC. We’ll examine them with a view to understanding how scammers have evolved their tactics.
In this instance, the text message tries to mimic a credit alert from a bank. It then provides a phone number to call to receive a similar sum into your account. Such a message will without doubt elicit a desire in the recipient or at least some interest. The scammer hopes that will be enough for the recipient to call which will then launch the second stage of the scam.
In this text message, the fraudster claims that the sum of 45,000 naira is being shared and provides a number for you to call in order to participate in the giveaway.
Both messages claim to be from the NCDC and use the sum of 45,000 naira as bait to entice the recipients.
Protecting yourself from SMiShing
- Do not post your number publicly, especially in online forums.
- Never click on links in text messages.
- Do not be in a hurry to act. If a text message is urging you to act or respond quickly, remember this is one of the ways cybercriminals get their targets to take the wrong action.
- Even if the text message seems to be coming from a high profile company, do not immediately believe it.
- Never call a phone number provided in an SMS. If the message claims to be from a company, go to their website and find their customer service number and call that number to confirm.
- Keep your phone software updated and use a mobile antimalware.