Last September, we published a blog post showcasing a new iOS feature that simplifies reporting abuse, smishing, spam and other unwanted messages. The feature rolled out in the U.S. first, and since then, we’ve seen overall reporting skyrocket as much as 15 times.
U.S. reports classified as smishing increased by 145% from 2021 to 2022 and have continued to climb in 2023. The increase is attributable to both a steady growth in smishing attacks and the massive increase in user reports.
Smishing is a form of phishing that uses text messages to lure people into clicking on malicious links or replying with sensitive data. Smishing messages often pretend to be from reputable companies or organizations, such as banks, delivery services or government agencies. They may use scare tactics, such as claiming that your account has been compromised or that you owe money. They may also offer fake rewards, such as gift cards or prizes.
When a mobile user reports a smishing message, it’s sent to our Mobile Abuse Visibility System, where it forms part of the digital “fingerprint” that allows our automated systems to remove malicious messages from mobile networks before they’re delivered to end users.
Now, simplified reporting is being rolled out to iOS users in Canada, and we’re expecting to see a similar surge in smishing intel.
Cloudmark solutions from Proofpoint are deployed around the world to protect users from most malicious messages before they ever reach their phones. As simplified reporting increases the amount of threat data we have to work with, our systems get even smarter. With this insight, we can build even more accurate detection mechanisms to keep mobile networks and mobile users safe.
To report smishing on an iOS device where simplified reporting is enabled, all you have to do is press the “Report Junk” button. A similar feature is available on many Android devices. If you don’t see that option on your phone, you can also forward the message to 7726, which spells “SPAM” on most keypads.