Email Hack via SMS Phishing Text: Phone Scam Overview

SMS phishing can steal your informationIt's arguable that the cell phone is one of the greatest inventions in the last 50 years. It has completely revolutionized the way we live and communicate with each other. The English language has changed considerably with the addition of smart phones and social media. Just think that twenty years ago no one said, "I'll send you a text.", or "Let's take a selfie."

Today, there are so many different things you can do with a cell phone that will allow you to stay connected to the world around you. So much so, that for one-in-five Americans their smart phone is one of their only means for going online. For many people checking email on a cell phone is something they do multiple times a day. While being able to check your email on the go can be helpful, there are also some hidden dangers.

Most people fail to realize criminals can access their emails with nothing more than an email address and a cell phone number. Many of the larger email providers, like Google will allow you to recover your password through a text message. Here is how the email account hack works and what you need to do to safeguard your email address.

Receiving a Password Recovery Text Out of the Blue

As previously mentioned, all that a scammer needs to get a password recovery text is your cell phone number and your email address. They will go to your email provider and choose the option to have a text sent to the cell phone number on file. If you get a password recovery text out of the blue, you need to immediately be suspicious.

Once the scammer has gotten the text sent, they will send you a follow-up text claiming to be your email provider. They will inform you that there has been some suspicious activity on your account and that they need to verify a few things. This is when the scammer will usually ask you to forward the recovery code to them to verify it. Once you give them the code, they will be able to go into your email and change the password, thus locking you out of it permanently.

Steering Clear of This Scam

The main thing that you need to know about a password recovery text is that an email provider will never require you to respond. This means when you get a text asking you to do so, you can be sure it is a scam. Most people have a lot of sensitive information in their email account, which is why guarding it closely is important. If you do get one of these texts, then the best thing you can do is ignore it.

The email hack by SMS phishing text is a common way in which cyberstalkers will take over the email and social media accounts of their victims.

Reporting Suspicious Activity

If you get a text out of the blue from your email carrier, be suspicious. You should ignore the text message and not respond to it under any conditions, and report it number that asked you to verify your email recovery code to theFederal Trade Commission. If you are the victim of cyberstalking and your accounts are hacked you should reach out to the National Stalking Helpline and your local authorities.

Our free phone tracer app allows you to leave your feedback and warn others about phone numbers that are being used in phishing scams. We also make it easy to report phone scams to the FTC.

If you don't have an iPhone or iPad you can still identify unknown numbers, check for suspicious behavior, leave your feedback on phone numbers, and learn how to report phone scams on our website.