“You have a new voicemail” – Police warn of a new scam

The new ‘SMS’ pattern has become known to the Kempton Police. In this context, the police warned against downloading malware on the cell phone unnoticed.

“You have a new voicemail” – A 51-year-old victim has received this SMS in the past few days.

To retrieve the voice message, you must click on a link in this short message. However, this did not lead to the expected voice message, but a new app was installed on her mobile phone. This application controlled the sending of SMS and then sent thousands of SMS, with the complainant suffering hundreds of euros in damages. Compton Police Station has launched investigations in this regard.

What is “SMISHING”?

Cybercriminals use text messages to distribute malware or to access data: using so-called SMISHING, fake SMS messages are sent, which are intended to induce the recipient to open a malicious link.

SMISHING is a word creation from the terms SMS (Short Messages) and Phishing (Access data theft via fake messages or emails). The fake SMS contains a link that directs users to a website where they are supposed to disclose sensitive information, for example, or install malware. Android users are particularly affected, but iPhone and iPad users should also pay attention, because no mobile operating system can protect against such attacks. This is a new scam used by criminals.

Similar SMS messages were sent with bundle announcements in the spring. These have the same effects. Either such an application is installed via the link, or it is used to enter personal data, such as passwords or credit card details being requested.

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How do I protect myself from falling?

Under no circumstances should you click on the link! Ignore such messages, even if they report alleged rivalries or the like.

The easiest way to protect yourself from such attacks is to ignore the SMS and not reply to it – this way the message cannot cause any harm.

The police also advise:

  • Delete the message.
  • If your phone asks if you want to install an app, do not confirm under any circumstances.
  • Set up a third-party lock with your wireless service provider.

Here’s what you should do if the app is already installed:

  • Switch your mobile phone to airplane mode so that it cannot receive any external commands or send SMS.
  • Contact your mobile operator and inform them of the problem.
  • Also ask if costs have already been incurred.
  • Get 3rd party lock instantly.
  • Call or visit your nearest police station.
  • Save all your data, photos, videos and possibly also your settings in a backup.
  • You should then reset your smartphone to factory settings. This will erase all the apps and data that were not there when you bought the phone.
  • Change all passwords, and also activate two-factor authentication for all accounts that support it.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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