Mobile Messaging Made Easy

Text marketing’s 98% engagement rate means your messages will be read and responded to — fast. No other channel comes close.


6 Examples of Phishing Text Messages and How to Fight Back

6 Examples of Phishing Text Messages and How to Fight Back

What would you do if you walked into the office tomorrow morning and found out that your company was robbed of thousands of dollars?

You'd probably call the police, right?

What would you do if your business got hit by a phishing text message scam? It's really the same thing, just a different type of thievery. Unfortunately, phishing scams affect thousands of consumers every year. If you haven't heard, smishing (phishing via SMS) is a new security attack in which users are tricked into downloading a virus or malware. It's a serious dilemma that can cost people thousands!

The biggest problem with phishing is that it's especially difficult to detect. And while most people think they'd never fall victim to it, many people do, and they don't realize what's happened until it's far too late.

To help you differentiate between a real and fake text message, here are six examples of phishing text messages and what you can do to fight back.

6 Examples of Phishing Text Messages

There are hundreds of phishing text scams out there. Many of the world's most popular brands, including American Express, Bank of America, and Craigslist have fallen victim to these and other fraud. By educating yourself, you can be better prepared to fight back.

1. iCloud ID Verification

Have you ever received a text message asking you to verify your Apple iCloud ID? If so, you might have been the target of a popular phishing text message scam.

Apple will never send you a text message asking you to verify your account information. Additionally, Apple will always address you by your name or the company's name on file. If you think your Apple iCloud ID has been compromised by an unauthorized user, change your password and review all security information connected to your account, including alternate email address, rescue email address, phone number, and security questions.

phishing text message

To report these types of messages, send an email to

2. Craigslist False Interest

If you've ever sold anything on Craigslist, you know how long it takes to drum up some interest from potential buyers. Unfortunately, many users fall victim to popular "false interest" text message scams. In most instances, the SMS will nearly always contain a URL directing to a fake Craigslist login page. These URLs are craftily chosen to mimic authentic Craigslist URLs. A genuine Craigslist URL will often contain a place name in the URL, such as

phishing text message

If you believe that you have been a victim of a Craigslist text message phishing scam, see for more information.

3. Free Bitcoins

In recent years, there's been a ton of allure around Bitcoin. If you haven't heard, bitcoin is a new and exciting currency. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are using mass text messaging to hijack the computing power of users' phones to mine for Bitcoin. In most cases, mining Bitcoin requires enormous computer processing power, so by tapping into gullible phone owners, criminals can crowd-share mining operations.

phishing text message

As a best practice, get into the habit of scanning URLs and double-checking the URL to ensure you're visiting the correct site. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Best Buy Gift Card

As gift cards have gained popularity in recent years, there's also been an influx of criminals trying to trick consumers out of their money. These scams always encourage users to visit a URL to claim a free "reward." These messages require users to submit important account or other confidential information. Once the confidential information is obtained, identity theft or other forms can occur.

phishing text message

If you feel you've been a victim of gift card fraud, contact your local law enforcement, the consumer protection division of your state's Attorney General or the Federal Trade Commission at

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

5. PayPal Account Locked

Other cybercriminals use PayPal to target unsuspecting victims. These messages are usually urgent, warning contacts that their account has been deactivated or locked. If you call the number, respond to the text message or supply account information, you'll talk directly to fraudsters.

phishing text message

If you come across a suspicious link or website, contact PayPal. Copy and paste the site's URL into an email message and send it to

6. Verizon Account Update

Verizon Online has been made aware of a new phishing scam targeting Verizon customers. This text scam attempts to lure customers into providing sensitive account information and/or downloading virus-infected programs.

phishing text message

If you receive a text message like the one above, you should delete it immediately. Do not respond to the text message, click on any links, or provide any account information.

Fight Back Against Phishing Text Messages

As a best practice, if your business receives text messages from an unfamiliar contact, delete the message. Additionally, never supply personal information via text message and avoid visiting unfamiliar hyperlinks. Spammers often ask for this information in an attempt to steal your email address, your money, your credit, and your identity. It's a serious issue that compromises thousands of businesses yearly!

Fortunately, the number of enterprises that use business text messaging for good far outweighs the number of fraudulent text message users. If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of text message marketing, we recommend downloading our free, in-depth guide. In this guide, we'll show you the nine steps all successful businesses take to reach text marketing stardom.

Roadmap to Mastering Text Message Marketing

Photo: Getty/Chainarong Prasertthai

Share: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email

Recent Blog Posts


How to Help Your Business and Customers Avoid Text Smishing Scams

As if 2020 wasn’t delivering us enough to contend with. Now, many of us are receiving unwanted SMS text scams (supposedly, but not really) from USPS...
Learning Pods

How Texting Enhances Learning Pods

As the parent to a kindergartener in a district with all-remote learning in place, I’ve witnessed firsthand the number of learning pods pop up in our...

Don't Miss a Perfect Recruit: Personalize the Hiring Process with SMS

“Often, the mavericks who've skipped the box-ticking in life are the ones we're seeking.” So explains Dawn Graham — a highly sought-after career coach...