How To Avoid Phishing Attacks Via iPhone Messages

How To Avoid Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks aimed at stealing personal information are an increasingly serious threat for iPhone users. A phishing scam typically starts with a text message that appears trustworthy but contains a malicious link. Tapping on that link from the iPhone's Messages app can send you to a convincing but fake website designed to steal your login credentials, financial info, or install malware on your device.

It's important to be vigilant about spotting and avoiding iPhone phishing scams. Once criminals get access to your sensitive data, they can exploit it in many harmful ways, like draining your bank account, making unauthorized credit card charges, or stealing your identity. Here are some helpful tips to keep your iPhone and personal information safe from phishing attacks received through text messages or SMS:

Watch Out for Unexpected Messages from Unknown Senders

The first red flag of a phishing attempt is receiving a text out of the blue from a phone number you don't recognize. Phishing texts often impersonate a company you do business with, such as your bank, credit card issuer, a retailer, or an online service. The message will be crafted to appear legitimate and urge you to click a link to secure your account or claim a deal.

But phishing links are sent from phone numbers that don't match the real company. Any unexpected text from an unknown number should be treated cautiously. Don't click on any links right away. Instead, contact the company through their official website or app to ask about the suspicious text.

Check for Signs of Number Spoofing

Clever phishing scammers can “spoof” legitimate phone numbers, so the incoming text appears to come from a source you trust. But iPhone has some ways to detect likely spoofing. Look for a tiny “S” or “US” icon next to the phone number in the text - that's Apple's way of labeling suspected spoofed numbers.

You can tap on the message header with the number to see more details about the source. Educate yourself on how spoofing works so you can better identify it. If a text claims to be your bank but the phone number is clearly fake, it's almost certainly a phish.

Don't Click on Suspicious Links Right Away

Whenever you receive a questionable text with a link, don't tap on it immediately. Phishing links are designed to look convincingly like real websites in the SMS preview. Instead of clicking directly, tap and hold on the link to bring up a menu allowing you to copy the URL or share it.

Paste the copied link into the Notes app, then inspect it closely for any misspellings, odd domains, or other signs it's a fake before clicking. Verifying links in this way takes a little extra time, but could save you from visiting malicious sites or handing over your iPhone data.

Turn On "Filter Unknown Senders"

An important iPhone anti-phishing feature to enable is the “Filter Unknown Senders” option under Messages settings. This automatically filters SMS messages from phone numbers not already in your contacts to the spam folder.

While legitimate messages could accidentally get blocked, it's a helpful precaution. You can still look in spam periodically for unknown senders you're expecting texts from. Just be aware texts from unknown senders won't hit your main inbox with filtering on.

Don't Enable Text Message Forwarding

Text message forwarding allows texts received on your iPhone to be sent automatically to other devices. This can be a useful feature but also poses security risks. Phishing texts forwarded to your other devices could compromise multiple accounts. Keep the text forwarding option turned off to limit where phishing attempts can reach.

Set Up Two-Factor Authentication

For important accounts like banking, email, and social media, set up two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA requires you to enter a unique code from a separate device when logging in from a new iPhone. So even if phishers steal your password, they still can't access your accounts without that extra code from your phone.

The extra login step keeps your sensitive data much more secure against phishing attempts. Enable 2FA everywhere it's available.

Consider Using a Text Message Spy

If you suspect a person who might be setting up a phishing attack, you need to monitor texts for security reasons, use a legal iPhone text message monitoring app without This will give you peace of mind and keep your device safe.

Monitor Your Accounts and Credit Regularly

Make it a habit to closely monitor bank, credit card, and online accounts at least weekly for any unauthorized access, charges, or suspicious activity. Fast detection of anything amiss after a phishing attempt can help limit the damage. Enabling transaction alerts is also wise.

Learn to Recognize Phishing Red Flags

Educate yourself on common phishing tactics, email and text message red flags, and ways attackers try to spoof legitimate companies. Understanding mobile phishing techniques makes their scams easier to spot. Stay on top of the latest phishing trends so you can keep your iPhone secure.

Don't Reply To Any Suspicious Texts

If you receive a text you believe to be a phishing attempt, don't reply to it at all - not even to say "stop" or "unsubscribe." Any response verifies to scammers that they reached a real, active phone number. Instead, block the number, report it to your carrier, and delete the text. Avoid engaging phishers.


By following these tips, you can enjoy all the convenient communication iPhone offers while avoiding dangerous phishing scams. Be wary of any unexpected text from an unknown number, don't blindly click links, enable key iPhone security settings, and monitor your accounts regularly. Putting some care into mobile security will keep you safe from phishers aiming to steal your personal information and money.

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