Text Message Scams are on the Rise
Text messaging is a great way to stay in touch with your friends and family. Unfortunately, this method of communication is also popular amongst scammers, and it is on the rise. Some messages are easy to spot while others look eerily like a normal text reminder. In just the past couple of years, people have fallen victim to text scams appearing to be from companies like Amazon, FedEx, or Verizon.
These messages may look legitimate, but you should be cautious before clicking any links in a text. Here are some things to watch for and think about when receiving a text that may indicate a scam.
- The text is unsolicited. A hacker will claim that you have won a prize or money or that you have a package waiting to be delivered. Before taking any further action, ask yourself, “Did I enter a contest? Did I order something recently from this business?” If your answer is no, it is likely a scam. If you ever have any doubts, always go directly to the company website and contact the business directly. Never click a link and never call the number provided in the text message.
- It is personalized. Just because your name is used in the message, doesn’t mean it isn’t a scam. There are many ways that scammers can find out your name and address on the internet.
- Run a quick search. Searching for other scams similar to your suspected text may be helpful. For example, you could search “recent Verizon text scams” and you may find articles about texts people have received that are like the one on your phone.
- There is a sense of urgency. A message may claim to be from your financial institution and say something like, “Act Now! Fraudulent activity has been detected on your account.” While you are right to be worried, never click links in these types of messages. Always directly contact your bank or credit card company directly to ask if they contacted you.
Remember that some of these messages could look very real and can even include names of people you have worked with or actual business logos. If you suspect a text message scam, delete the message immediately. If you believe you have been a victim to this scam, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.