Beware of Fake Text Messages

We received a report of an FIT alumnus who received a text message from someone pretending to a high level executive at FIT. We want to alert you of the dangers of smishing (text message phishing) and to remind you that official college communication is never sent in the form of a text message.

“SMS” phishing attacks, nicknamed “smishing,” are messages that appear as texts on your mobile device. Just like with email attacks, the criminals masquerade, often posing as a VIP or high profile individual, to gain the recipients trust in an attempt to steal personal information or credentials.

How can you protect yourself?

  1. Many of the same rules to protect yourself from traditional email phishing attacks can be applied to smishing attacks.  Review the 4 DON’Ts.

  2. Never trust smishing text messages even if they use your name to appear friendly and familiar.

  3. Never respond to suspicious text messages, even if the message says you can “text STOP” to prevent future messages. Any response on your part will confirm for the scammers that the number is in use—and you’ll just be inviting more texts.

  4. Pay attention to the number the message comes from. Unknown numbers are a red flag and most likely should be ignored. 11-digit long numbers starting with a local area code, such as +44, are often associated with scam texts. Large reputable corporations will generally send text messages from short-code numbers.

  5. Install antivirus on your mobile devices for extra protection. Sophos Antivirus offers a free mobile product. Learn more here.

If you received a text message like the one described above, you can report it to TechHelp by entering a ticket at