General Computer Development US

Message from General Computer Development 

Beware of Text-Based Scams: Smishing


Now that businesses are using text messages (SMS) to communicate with consumers, hackers are stepping up their attempts to “smish” (SMS + phishing). Most often, smishing is designed to gain personal information or financial information. Scammers may even use personal information like an emergency request from a family member or work colleague to encourage you to click on a link or share financial information. Resist the urge to reply if the text appears to be suspicious, even there’s the option to respond with “stop” or “unsubscribe.” Doing so may tag your number as active, which can prompt the scammer to double down on their efforts. 

Remember, in most cases, businesses must have your consent to text you and are required to include key language in their initial correspondence to you. This includes the option to “opt out” of messaging and a notice that data rates may apply. Government entities, banks, health care providers, and private businesses never use text message to reach out to you about an outstanding invoice or account problem; they relay that type of information by postal mail. 

So, how do you know when a text is legitimate or when it’s smishing? Approach any unsolicited text message with caution, just as you would with your email accounts. Legitimate commercial messages are typically sent from short-code 4-, 5-, or 6-digit numbers. Scammers, on the other hand, most often use 10- or 11- digital numbers.

Signs of text scams


  • An important person (Executive, family member, manager) asks you to reply back to a message and confirm you’ve received it. 

  • The text is unprompted, random, or unrelated to any activity you’ve had with the individual or business. Did you really enter a contest or are you expecting a package? 

  • The tone is urgent or requests immediate attention. The text is from someone pretending to be your bank or a government agency or a friend in crisis, but they aren’t in your contact list. 

  • The text contains misspellings or poor grammar. 

  • It comes from a lengthy phone number, suspicious email address, or contains a suspicious link. 


 What should you do if you receive a suspicious text message that may be smishing? 

  • Never click a reply link or phone number in a message you're not sure about. 

  • If the message appears to come from a member of your company (business), report it to GCD ASAP! 

  • Never share sensitive personal or financial information by text. 

  • If a business sends you a text that you weren't expecting, call them to verify its authenticity using the number. Don't click the number—verifying the number from a legitimate source, like the business’ website, and then call the correct number manually. 

  • Watch out for suspicious numbers that don't look like real mobile numbers, like "5000". These numbers link to email-to-text services, which are sometimes used by scam artists to avoid providing their actual phone numbers. 

  • Report texting scam attempts to your wireless service provider by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 or "SPAM". 

Stay alert to data protection 

We value your privacy and the privacy of our clients. Data protection requires all of us to remain on guard to security threats, such as smishing. Data is essential to the ways in which we move through the world and do our work. Staying alert to threats is a continuous effort—collectively we can keep our data safe by educating ourselves about new and emerging threats and best practices.


GCD has been nominated for the Excellence in Small Business at the Prince William Chamber 2023 Business Awards.

We are proud to be nominated yet again in this event. 

Thanks to all the GCD family, we could not do this without your endless support!

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