Tbaytel warns of SMS scam urging customers to download an app for 5G

It's good advice and it goes well beyond text messages -- avoid clicking links in any communication, especially from an unknown source

Independent telecom provider Tbaytel warned customers of a scam text being sent out to customers urging them to download an app.

Tbaytel shared an image of the scam on its Twitter page. The image shows a text message that warns “services and data may be stopped” if customers don’t download an app as part of “the new 5G update.”

“Please be advised that Tbaytel has been made aware of a scam SMS that has been going out to customers. As always, we advise all customers to ignore text messages which the sender is not known and avoid clicking any links sent via SMS,” Tbaytel says in the tweet.

Not clicking links in text messages is generally good advice, but it goes well beyond that. People should avoid clicking links in any communication — be it email, text, an instant message or something else — especially if it comes from an unknown source.

It’s quite easy to hide or disguise a link to a malicious website in emails and messages through the use of link-shortening services and other means, and it’s a common tactic of scammers looking to phish personal details from people. For example, you could get an email warning that your Netflix subscription payment had an issue — people might click on the link to resolve the problem and inadvertently log in to a fake website that looks like Netflix, giving away their login information to the scammer. If that sounds farfetched, well, that example is similar to a 2018 scam that tricked Netflix subscribers into giving their credit card information to scammers.

The easiest way to protect yourself is to avoid clicking links in any suspicious communication. If you get a strange message from what looks like Netflix, Tbaytel or another company, don’t click the link — go directly to the company’s website instead and login there. If whatever ‘issue’ in the message is real, you’ll be able to find out from the website you go to.

And, while it should go without saying, it’s worth noting that access to 5G does not hinge on downloading an app or any other software. If you want 5G, you’ll need a smartphone that supports the next-gen network tech and a carrier that offers a 5G network.

Image credit: Tbaytel

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