Spam text messages work much like email. They are typically sent from an unknown number and try to entice you into providing personal information. This can include account numbers, passwords, or even your Social Security number. Spammers who get the information they are seeking could use it to gain access to your bank account, email, or other accounts. Here are a few keys to understanding how to deal with spam text messages.
Scammers use a wide range of stories to request various pieces of information. For example, they may offer gift cards, prizes, A new credit card that is either low or no interest, or in 2021 mention that you have a warrant out for your arrest. (And you thought those claiming to help you pay off your student loans were bad!)
Around 60% of these scammers try to convince you they have valuable information about your bank account or a particular transaction they claim you have made. In these instances, scammers cite suspicious account activity and payment issues as their reason for texting.
A few weeks ago, I received a fake package delivery notification. I was asked to contact the sender if I had not authorized the package and was asked to provide some information. The problem is that it took me a few minutes to figure out as I often have a late-night online shopping problem =).
If you receive a text from an unknown sender that requests information, chances are it is spam. Legitimate companies don’t send texts when alerting you of an issue. If they do send texts about a product shipment or information, you will be notified of this upon purchasing the product.
What To Do When You Receive a Spam Text?
If you receive a message that asks for personal information, do not give it. Don’t click any links in a text you suspect is spam.
If the text is from a company you recognize, contact them to inquire about whether they sent the text. They will notify you of their policies about sending text messages.
When contacting a company, use the contact information on their website rather than what is provided in the text.
You may be able to block unwanted spam texts directly from your phone. Check the settings and how-to information for your model to find out how. Contact the manufacturer if you have any questions.
You can also block texts through your wireless provider. Check whether your provider offers this by going to ctia.org or contact them directly.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cites three ways to report spam text messages. You can:
- Report from your message app.
- Copy it and forward to 7726 (SPAM).
- Report it to the FTC directly by going to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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