Text messaging scams have become much more commonplace in recent years as more and more people choose text messaging as one of their primary means of communication. These scams come in various forms and are all aimed at tricking you out of your money. Unfortunately, thousands of unwary people find themselves taken advantage of in this way. Learning how to deal with text messaging scams will dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a victim of fraud. Here’s what you need to know.
Never Give Out Personal Information By Text
The main goal of most text messaging scams is to get you to divulge personal information by text that the scammer can use to access your accounts. This includes bank account information, email and social media account information, passwords, and Social Security numbers. Once they have this information, they can use it to drain your financial accounts, lock you out of accounts, open new accounts in your name, or sell your information to other criminals. No legitimate company will ask you to provide this type of information via text.
Don’t Click On Suspicious Links
Ever receive a text message that you won a prize in a contest you didn’t enter? Or maybe you received an offer for a discount on something valuable if you just click on the link below? Just like in email messages, suspicious links in text messages can be dangerous. Text message links can be used to install malware or spyware on your device or can take you to a spoofed website that lets the scammers steal your username and password for a real company. If the text message with the link is not from someone you personally know or a company that has a legitimate reason to text you (like a delivery company), do not click on the link.
How To Deal With Scam Text Messages
Many text messaging scams are easily identified by bad grammar or misspellings in the text message itself, but some appear legitimate and appear to come from companies that you actually do business with. If you are not sure if a text message is real or not, contact the company via their website or by phone to see if there are any concerns about your account. If the text message was not sent by the company, inform them that someone is attempting to scam their customers with fraudulent text messages.
If you receive a scam text message and would like to report it, there are multiple options you can use. The easiest method for most people is to simply copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM), a dedicated number that wireless providers have set up to report text messaging scams. You can also report the scam message to the messaging app you are using by using the app’s reporting feature. Finally, information about the text messaging scam can be sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Have you experienced or been the victim of text messaging scams? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Toi Williams began her writing career in 2003 as a copywriter and editor and has authored hundreds of articles on numerous topics for a wide variety of companies. During her professional experience in the fields of Finance, Real Estate, and Law, she has obtained a broad understanding of these industries and brings this knowledge to her work as a writer. Toi writes at Blonde and Balanced.
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