Basically, Smishing is Phishing (like you get in your email), except it's on your Smartphone through SMS Text messages. The word itself is a mashup of SMS and Phishing, as you can see better when it's displayed like this: SMiShing.
Smishing is dangerous, as a text sent to your phone implies legitimacy. No longer is the case. With all of the (known) website breaches in the last 10 years, it's more than likely that your personal information (and cell number) are known to people wanting to take your money, identity, and other malicious things. Nowadays people store information about their family, friends, business relations, etc., so any one who has your information on any breached or hacked account/service, so your information is probably already out there.
If you want to know more about Smishing, Kaspersky has a helpful article on it:
While it is best not to respond or best not to "fall for" Smishing scams, you can waste a lot of time that you could be doing something more fun or productive trying to verify the legitimacy of the SMS Message. You never want to click on a link in a message or call a phone number in a message, because if it is a scam, you're going to the website of the scammer or calling the scammer directly, not the company that you were led to believe was communicating with you. Grab a bill, go to the company's official website, and get all phone numbers from a verifiable and reputable source.
One App I recommend to help identify and block Spam calls and identify Spam texts is Mr. Number.
Mr. Number looks up and displays information on who is contacting you, instead of just showing a plain telephone number on your phone.
Mr. Number has a community of people using the App who report when telemarketers, scammers, spammers, etc., call/text, and gives you the ability to block calls based on:
- Reports of Scam or fraud
- Suspected spam
- Hidden or Unknown numbers
- Manual list of numbers you can add specific numbers to
When a number calls meeting these criteria, it will be sent directly to voicemail without ringing most of the time, sometimes after a quick buzz or one ring, and identified inside the Mr. Number App's list of recent callers.
You might want to fiddle around with notification settings to suit your needs, as Mr. Number can identify incoming and outgoing calls, with notification popups becoming slightly annoying in some cases.
A good Antivirus App isn't a bad idea to have on your phone either. One that works well for both Android and iPhone/iPad is Lookout Mobile Security:
Stay safe, and remember to "Think Before You Click".