Why you shouldn’t dial *3370# on your mobile

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Text messaging and phone call scams are on the rise. Known as "smishing" and "vishing," these scams aim to trick users into handing over valuable personal information that can lead to identity theft and financial fraud. This article will equip you with the knowledge to recognize and avoid falling victim to their devious techniques.

How Criminals Leverage Smishing & Vishing for Cybercrime

Smishing and vishing leverage the ubiquitous nature of text messaging and phone calls to cast a wide net for potential targets. Posing as banks, parcel delivery services, or tech support, they count on people's conditioned responses to follow links and instructions without deeper scrutiny.

Once users visit fake sites or provide sensitive information like passwords or account numbers, criminals can steal identities or siphon money. Significant financial damage often results in victims.

These scams are growing exponentially globally:

  • India saw a 25% rise in smishing scams in 2022 alone.
  • Losses to phishing scams are in the billions annually in the US.
  • Higher value targets like businesses and government are increasingly targeted.

Being able to recognize and avoid these scams is critical to protect yourself in today's hyperconnected world.

Spotting Smishing and Vishing Red Flags

While scammers get more sophisticated, some telltale signs can indicate a suspicious text or call:

Generic greetingsThreats or urgency
Spoofed sender infoRequests for sensitive data
Odd URLsPoor grammar/spelling
Calls to dial premium numbers

You should always independently verify unexpected texts or calls before taking action. Contact the organization through official channels rather than any info provided in the potential scam message.

How to Protect Yourself From Smishing and Vishing Threats

Beyond recognizing red flags, you can take further steps to avoid falling victim:

  • Never call numbers or click links before verifying the source.
  • Use spam calls and text blockers to filter out likely scams.
  • Don't provide sensitive info over the phone or on untrusted sites.
  • Monitor accounts after any suspected scam contact.
  • Report scam calls/texts to carriers to potentially block them.
  • Educate friends and family on avoiding smishing and vishing.

What To Do If You Suspect You Were Scammed

If you fear you may have fallen for a scam, act quickly:

  • Alert banks of unauthorized charges.
  • Change passwords on breached accounts.
  • Scan devices for malware.
  • Place fraud alerts on credit.
  • File an identity theft report if accounts are compromised.
  • Block/report the scam number or sender.

Quick action can greatly limit the resulting damage.

The 3370 Star Hash Smishing Scam

A prevalent smishing scam involves messages telling you to dial *3370#. This activates expensive premium rate services that can result in high phone bill charges while listening to lengthy pre-recorded prompts.

The scam mastermind earns a cut of the premium fees from victims, some losing upwards of $1000. If you receive a message to dial *3370# or any other code, delete it immediately.

Maintaining Vigilance Against Growing Scam Threats

As mobile usage and internet connectivity accelerate globally, smishing and vishing scams will continue evolving as well. Maintaining vigilance over our personal data is crucial, as cybercriminals seek to exploit every new technology and platform introduced.

By learning to recognize telltale scam signs and exercising caution when contacted unexpectedly, we can deny these fraudsters the foothold they seek in our digital lives.

Share this knowledge with less tech-savvy friends and family to spread awareness on defeating these phone and text messaging scams.

Key Takeaways:

  • Smishing and vishing scams are exponentially increasing, costing victims billions annually.
  • Spot red flags like odd URLs and requests for sensitive data to identify scams.
  • Never call numbers or click links before independently verifying the source.
  • Take quick action like freezing accounts and reporting scams if you fall victim.
  • Ongoing vigilance is key as scammers exploit new technologies and platforms.

Stay safe out there and don't let the scammers steal your hard-earned progress!

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