Criminals are using the FIFA World Cup as an opportunity to trick mobile phone users into providing their bank details in exchange for non-existent prizes. The scam has the same basis as many spam email messages – "you've won a prize, give us your bank details for payment" – but it's being sent as an SMS text message. Recent incidents have been reported in Australia, although the problem could easily be international. FIFA has already warned football fans to be aware of email scams and internet hoaxes.
Mobile messaging specialists Airwide Solutions has asked its Chief Marketing Officer, Jay Seaton, to offer some straightforward guidelines: has developed a set of guidelines to help protect people. His suggestions include:
Contact your mobile operator to find out if they have personal security controls they could enable so you, as a subscriber, can limit whom you receive text messages from.
Work with your operator to set up individual blacklists and white lists and manage personalised blocking of specific keywords.
Find out if your operator has capabilities they can tap into to classify certain senders or pieces of content as unwanted.
Always report spam either to your operator via one of the customer service channels or through specific reporting channels that some operators have set up. Some operators have outlined processes for reporting SMS spam and even handset applications that will allow for reporting of specific spam messages, etc.