Protect Yourself from Smishing and Vishing 2023

smishing and vishing

In the ever-evolving digital world, cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and diverse. Two such threats, Smishing and Vishing, have emerged as significant risks. This article explores these threats and provides five crucial ways to protect yourself from Smishing and Vishing scams.

Smishing and Vishing are two types of fraud where SMS (smishing) and voice call (vishing) are used to trick users into providing sensitive information or money. These two types of phishing were widely used during Covid-19 pandemic.

Understanding Smishing and Vishing

Smishing is a phishing scam variant where attackers send SMS messages to trick victims into sharing personal information or installing malware on their devices. These SMS type of phishing were mostly carried out with a target of financial gain. The victims receive message stating suspended accounts or wining a lottery ticket along with a link. Once clicked on link it takes victim to a genuinely looking clone site of bank where victim has to input his/her credentials or any information.

what is smishing and vishing

On the other hand, Vishing is a similar threat, except cybercriminals use VoIP (Voice over IP) to place phone calls to trick victims. These type of attacks can also follow the pattern of smishing messages. The caller might impersonate to be a bank representative or customer care asking for your personal information or even OTP’s received. Falling to such scams can end in financial loss.

The Prevalence and Impact of Smishing and Vishing

The prevalence of Smishing and Vishing has grown exponentially over the years, with millions of people losing money and valuable information to these scams. Recognizing these threats is the first step in protecting oneself from falling prey.

According to the records smishing attacks exceeded the loss of 130 million dollars on 2021 and a study shows that Americans alone receive 2.3 billion scam texts per day and the loss due to these scam texts on just first 6 months of 2022 alone were estimated to be $9.7B, which clearly shows how effective smishing attacks are on individuals.

In parallel, Trellix reported 142% rise in vishing attacks in 2022 and 33% of Americans have reported becoming a victim of vishing attacks on 2022. The loss to vishing attacks were estimated to be $68.4M in 2022.

Five Essential Ways to Protect Yourself from Smishing and Vishing Scams

Here are five key steps to secure your digital presence from Smishing and Vishing scams:

1. Recognizing Potential Smishing and Vishing Scams

One of the easiest ways to protect yourself is to recognize the signs of a Smishing text message or a Vishing call. If you receive a text or call that seems suspicious or demands immediate action, it’s best to be cautious.

  • Lookout for messages which provides you offers or ask you for personal information.
  • Lookout for messages which are from unknown numbers pretending to be bank or any other services.
  • These messages will always contain a suspicious link attached to it.
  • These messages will originate from unknown numbers.
Recognizing Potential Smishing and Vishing Scams

Vishing exhibits similar pattern but these are carried out over calls.

  • Calls mostly originate from unknown numbers pretending to be banks or any other organization.
  • The attackers/scammer might ask for personal informations.
  • The scammer might even ask him to provide OTP received from bank pretending to be bank official for verification purpose.

2. Using Cybersecurity Tools on Mobile Devices

Modern smartphones come equipped with robust cybersecurity tools, like spam filters and phone number blocking. These tools can help protect you from phishing attacks and malicious links, significantly reducing the risk of Smishing and Vishing.

You can block spam text messages you receive on your mobile phone. iPhone and Android have cybersecurity tools like spam filters and phone number blocking to help protect you from phishing attacks and malicious links.

  • To set up spam filters on your iPhone:
  1. Go to the Settings App
  2. Go to Messages
  3. Find the Filter Unknown Senders option and turn it on
Using Cybersecurity Tools on Mobile Devices - To set up spam filters on your iPhone
  • To set up spam filters on your Android mobile device:
  1. Go to the Messaging App
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Tap Spam Protection and turn on Enable Spam Protection.
Using Cybersecurity Tools on Mobile Devices - To set up spam filters on your Android mobile device
  • You can also use mobile security apps to prevent such cases.

3. Following Safety Protocols when Interacting with Unknown Messages or Calls

  • Never respond to unsolicited calls, emails, or texts from numbers you do not recognize.
  • A legitimate company will always contact you through an official channel from an official and verifiable phone number.
  • Do not provide any personal details over call or through text to any unknown numbers
  • Do not share OTP over call or text.
  • Do not share any financial related information over call or text unless you verified the individuals identity.

4. Regularly Updating and Securing Personal Information

  • Ensure that your personal information, including email accounts, credit card numbers, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers, is secured.
  • Regularly updating and securing this information can protect against identity theft.

5. Reporting Suspected Smishing and Vishing Scams

  • If you believe you are the target of a Smishing or Vishing scam, report it to the relevant authorities. Not only does this help you, but it also aids in combating these cybercrimes on a larger scale.

The Role of Mobile Security Apps in Combatting Smishing and Vishing

  • Mobile security apps like McAfee Mobile Security can provide an additional layer of protection against Smishing and Vishing attacks.
  • They monitor your sensitive information and offer robust protection against online threats, giving you peace of mind.
  • In-built security features can also help in filtering out such messages and calls.

Importance of Continuous Learning in Cybersecurity

  • With cybercriminals constantly updating their level of attack sophistication, it is vital to stay informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and preventative measures.
  • Regular training and updates can go a long way in ensuring your digital security.
  • Conduct regular security awareness programs which are updated to current trends of threat.
  • Phishing simulations can also help in finding out the weakest link and work around it to make the security better.

How Organizations Can Protect Themselves from Smishing and Vishing

  • Companies should prioritize cybersecurity and equip their employees with the necessary training to identify and handle potential Smishing and Vishing attacks.
  • A well-informed employee can be a formidable first line of defense against these threats.

Phishing, Smishing, and Vishing: Differences and Similarities

While all three are cybersecurity threats, their modes of operation vary.

Phishing , smishing and vishing all have a same common goal of stealing personal information or compromising data. Though they work the same the mode of delivery of such messages vary with each.

In phishing the crafted message is send via mail using a similar looking email address of that of the targets trusted source. The level of sophistication differs in each type of phishing.

In smishing, the target is contacted through messages pretending to be tech support or banks or Govt organizations.

In Vishing, the target is contacted through voice calls or VOIP calls pretending to be banks, tech support or any Govt Organizations.

Cybersecurity in the Age of Smishing and Vishing

In the age of smishing and vishing, where scammers exploit technology and communication channels, cybersecurity has become more crucial than ever. These deceptive techniques, such as SMS phishing and voice-based scams, pose significant threats to personal and financial security. To effectively combat these risks, it is essential to understand the evolving nature of these scams and adopt robust cybersecurity practices.

Education and awareness play a vital role in defending against smishing and vishing attacks. By staying informed about the tactics employed by scammers and being able to identify suspicious messages or calls, individuals and organizations can make informed decisions and recognize potential threats. Regular training and awareness campaigns are key to equipping individuals with the knowledge to navigate this landscape safely

A Look at the Future: Evolving Cybersecurity Threats and Solutions

As technology advances, so do the tactics of cybercriminals. Future cybersecurity solutions will need to incorporate more advanced AI and machine learning techniques to proactively defend against Smishing and Vishing and other sophisticated threats.


In conclusion, it is crucial to stay vigilant and take proactive measures to protect ourselves from smishing and vishing scams, which are increasingly prevalent in today’s digital age. By following these five key strategies, we can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to such fraudulent activities.

First and foremost, maintaining a healthy skepticism is essential. We should be cautious of unsolicited messages or phone calls, especially those requesting sensitive information or urging immediate action. Verifying the authenticity of the sender or caller through independent means is crucial in preventing potential scams.

Secondly, being mindful of the information we share is vital. Avoid disclosing personal or financial details, such as account numbers or passwords, through text messages or phone calls. Legitimate organizations would never ask for such sensitive information in this manner.

Thirdly, implementing robust security measures is critical. Regularly updating and patching software, using strong and unique passwords, and activating two-factor authentication can significantly enhance our protection against scams. Additionally, installing reputable security software and keeping it up to date can help detect and mitigate potential threats.

Furthermore, staying informed about the latest scam techniques is crucial. Keeping abreast of current trends and understanding the tactics employed by scammers can empower us to recognize and avoid potential threats. Utilizing reliable sources, such as official government websites or trusted cybersecurity organizations, can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Lastly, fostering a healthy sense of digital hygiene is essential. This includes being cautious while clicking on links or downloading attachments, as they may contain malware or lead to phishing websites. Verifying the authenticity of websites before entering sensitive information is also crucial.

By adopting these five protective measures – maintaining skepticism, guarding personal information, implementing robust security measures, staying informed, and practicing digital hygiene – we can significantly reduce our vulnerability to smishing and vishing scams. In doing so, we safeguard our personal and financial well-being, ensuring a safer and more secure online experience.


What is a smishing attack?

A smishing attack, also known as SMS phishing, is a fraudulent technique where scammers use text messages (SMS) to deceive individuals and trick them into revealing sensitive information or performing certain actions. Similar to email phishing, smishing attacks aim to manipulate victims into divulging personal information, such as passwords, credit card details, or social security numbers.

what is a vishing attack?

A vishing attack is a type of cyber attack that relies on voice communication, typically through phone calls, to deceive and manipulate victims into divulging sensitive information or performing certain actions. The term “vishing” is a combination of “voice” and “phishing,” highlighting its similarity to email phishing scams.

What are examples of vishing calls?

1. Fake Bank Calls: Scammers pretend to be representatives from a bank or financial institution, claiming there is an issue with the victim’s account. They may request sensitive information like account numbers, passwords, or PINs under the guise of resolving the problem.
2. Tech Support Scams: Scammers pose as technical support personnel from well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple. They inform the victim of a supposed computer or software issue and request remote access to the device or payment for their services.
3. Government Agency Impersonation: Scammers pretend to be government officials, such as IRS agents or immigration officers. They may claim that the victim has outstanding debts or legal issues and threaten consequences unless immediate payment or personal information is provided.
4. Lottery or Prize Scams: Scammers inform the victim that they have won a lottery or prize and need to provide personal details or pay a fee to claim the reward. These calls are designed to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or sending money.
5. Charity Scams: Scammers exploit people’s generosity by posing as representatives from reputable charities and requesting donations over the phone. They often use emotional appeals to convince victims to provide financial contributions.

What is the difference between Smishing and Vishing

The main difference between smishing and vishing lies in the communication channel used by scammers to carry out their fraudulent activities.

What is an example of smishing phishing?

An example of a smishing phishing attack could be a text message sent to a victim’s mobile device, pretending to be from a well-known bank.
The message may state that there has been suspicious activity on the victim’s account and instruct the recipient to click on a link or call a specific phone number to resolve the issue.

Once the victim interacts with the provided link or calls the number, they may be directed to a fake website or an automated phone system that mimics the bank’s legitimate interface. The victim may then be prompted to enter their account credentials, such as their username and password, or provide other sensitive information, such as their Social Security number or credit card details.

Lichumon is an enthusiastic SOC Analyst with a keen interest in exploring the complexities of the dark web and human risk factors in cybersecurity. Despite being early in his career, his eagerness to learn and adapt sets him apart. Balancing vigilance and curiosity, Lichumon navigates the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape with a sense of determination and commitment to continuous learning.