SMS spoofing is an activity where people change the originating information on a text sent via the short message service (SMS) system used with cell phones, personal digital assistants, and similar devices. There are entirely legitimate reasons to spoof text messages, as well as less legitimate ones and the legality of this practice varies worldwide. Some nations have banned it due to concerns about the potential for fraud and abuse, while others may allow it. Individual carriers may also restrict SMS spoofing even if it is legal in a given nation.
When an SMS message is spoofed, the sender name, phone number, or both are changed. A common use of spoofing can be seen with companies that send text messages to their customers. Instead of having incoming texts display an unknown number, they might say “Company Name,” alerting customers to the identity of the sender. Likewise, a company might display a public phone number on texts to conceal the originating number so that people do not mistakenly respond to an internal or private number.
People may spoof as a prank, or use spoofing services for anonymity if they want to send texts and do not want to be identified. The reasons for this may not necessarily be malicious. Whistle blowers and tipsters may choose to anonymize themselves for safety, as might people texting to online services who want to conceal their identities or locations. This same anonymity can be used for less ethical reasons, such as harassing people with text messages that may contain abusive or annoying content.
SMS spoofing can be used for fraudulent purposes. A con artist may pretend to be someone else through the use of spoofed texts, attempting to elicit information from the target of the con. SMS spoofing tactics can include sending messages purporting to be from banks or other companies directing people to call a particular phone number or visit a link to resolve an account problem, requesting confidential information via text, or sending messages claiming to be from friends in trouble.
- Never respond to spoof emails or sms asking for some type of important or confidential data. For example, a bank will never ask for important information through emails.
- Never visit links which opens to well known websites, instead open the website directly in a new browser and type the URL address.
- Keep your browser updated in order to prevent url spoofing attacks.
- Always check the trusted domain sign when opening a website through a link. if its an untrusted domain and asking for authentication, close it.
- Never provide any kind of authentication asked by some email or link in the email to website
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