Experts warn about receiving phishing texts

NOW: Experts warn about receiving phishing texts

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- As holiday shopping continues to pick back up, experts warn about the dangers of clicking links sent to your cell phones disguised as tracking updates.

“I’ve received like a good amount of text messages especially with like just random things and I’m like I never ordered from there," Chloe Utz, a South Bend Resident.

The holidays are back in full swing and like many, Chloe has already purchased several gifts online this season. One thing she wasn’t expecting when checking out though - receiving a phishing text.

Normally, companies like Amazon and UPS will text a photo of your package when its delivered, but now, hackers are texting fake photos with dangerous links.

“We have this sort of implicit trust in our phones and our tablets because they’re so personal to us. So the thing that you need to do is really think about your smart phone in the same way you think about your computer," said Hank Schless, Senior Manager of Security Solutions.

Schless says making sure to look over spelling when receiving text updates about package deliveries -- and do not click links sent from unknown numbers - even if it appears to be a tracking update.

“Even if it looks legitimate always verify the communication with if it says it’s coming from one of the parcel delivery services call them verify that they would send something like this through text message. Ask them about the link that they sent you and see if it’s legitimate," said Schless.

And while Utz knows the dangers of potential cybersecurity issues, she says it won’t stop her from online shopping this holiday season.

“I mean like yeah keep an eye out, but I wouldn’t be too worried about it all the time," said Utz.

According to Hank, there’s been over a 30 percent increase in phishing scams via text since the start of the pandemic.

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