Cell phones have evolved from being a simple and convenient method of communication to a smart storage device that contains everything from irreplaceable family photos to the private financial information that we rely on every day. Scammers have always strived to target these devices in an effort to gain access to the life changing information they hold. While spam and robocalls from these scammers have been painfully accepted by the majority of Americans over the years, fraudulent and phishing text messages are now becoming their new method of attack in an attempt to get a lucrative payday at our expense.
If you find yourself receiving a lot of spam text messages, you can forward the message to the number 7726 (which spells "spam"). It won't stop the number from texting you right away, but it will allow your carrier to look into where it came from and put an end to it.
Protect yourself and your business from text scams by remembering these tips:
Pay attention to detail!
Evaluate for errors
Take the time to carefully evaluate the message before responding to it. Check to ensure that they came from a legitimate source and that the links are spelled correctly - avoid clicking suspicious links. If you don’t know the sender, don’t open any links to websites or content they may include. This could lead to fake websites or allow malware such as keyloggers that track and monitor your activities to steal your valuable information and assets.
Pay attention and read text messages carefully
Hackers will create a false sense of urgency by implying an immediate response is required. Don’t fall for it.
Think twice before responding
Responding to the text verifies your phone number is active and shows you are willing to interact, which may lead to an increase in the unsolicited text messages you receive.
Never send personal information to a suspicious text. Do not reply to any unfamiliar message.
Just delete the message - if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Never respond to unsolicited gift card offers. Delete it and move on.
Verify the sender
Scammers know you care; they are trained in communicating messages that feel real but aren't. If you feel the text you received might have come from an actual person or business that you are familiar with, find their contact information from a separate source and give them a call explaining the text that you have received.
Understanding how to avoid these text scams can help protect yourself and your business!