I've been the victim of phishing via SMS. What should I do?

There are tens of thousands of fraudulent SMSes in circulation. The SMSes are sent to customers of all the Belgian telecom operators. Most of the SMSes are in French, but some are also in Dutch. The targets are most often Android users.

A few examples:

Don't you know what phishing is? Read more about it

What should you do if you get such an SMS?

DON'T click the link, and DON'T download the suggested app! Take a screenshot and send it to verdacht@safeonweb.be. That way the link will be blocked, so there won't be more victims.

Then delete the SMS. 

Have you already downloaded the app?

It happens. Then, you have to save your data and files (but no applications) in order to reset your handset to the factory settings. That is the only way to delete all the apps that may contain the virus.

First and foremost:

  • Gather all the data from your smartphone that you want to keep (e.g. photos and videos, but not apps!). Upload them somewhere safe, like Google Docs or your computer.
  • Do you use automatic backups? Then make sure that when you restart your phone you don't use any data that is more recent than 8 May. Otherwise, the virus will very likely be installed again.

First, make sure you have backed up your data and files. Once you have done this, you can reset your handset to its factory settings. Not sure how to do this? Consult the user manual of your device.

What if I don't reset my handset?

Then we will have to block your SMS service, which means you will no longer be able to send or receive SMSes. Otherwise, your handset will continue sending SMSes without your knowledge.