Article | 1:45 min read

Text Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Security

Cybercriminals try many tactics to get your information, including text message scams. Here’s how to protect yourself and stay informed.

Rarely does a day go by that cybercriminals aren’t trying to get your information using hackers, scammers, bot handlers, spoofing, phishing, vishing, email or texting scams. Statistics show three people per second fall victim to some type of malicious scam.

Cybercriminals are smart! They always seem to be one-step ahead. What makes them even more dangerous is they are ruthless, have no conscience, and will use times of crisis to take advantage of unsuspecting people. These fraudsters are after one thing – to steal from anyone they can, by any means necessary.

The below text messages are from a real life text-scamming attempt:

Phone fraud text messages

Scammers use many tactics – some of them look innocent like these text messages. Here are a few steps to protect yourself from text scams:

  • Do not reply or click any links – This is the easiest way for criminals to acquire your personal information. Clicking these links can install malware on your device, which collects your personal information.
  • Look at the phone number – Scammers typically use phone numbers not associated with a name or address. If you don’t recognize the phone number, it’s best to not respond, and block the phone number.
  • Delete unwanted text messages that ask you to enter any sort of code, or confirm or provide any personal information. Legitimate companies won’t send you a text asking for sensitive information.
  • Report spam texts to your carrier – Look for the option on your messaging platform to report junk or spam. You may also contact your cell phone carrier to report as spam, or file a report with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.

The best way to protect yourself from potential fraudsters is to stay educated about common scams. Additionally, create a strong password on your social media accounts (i.e. Facebook, etc.) and change it regularly. Most importantly, don’t use the same password for all your online log-ins.

By staying alert and informed, you can stay one-step ahead of cybercriminals, and keep your information protected.

 

Sources:

Random Text? Wait, wait, don’t click on that!, Consumer Finance

How to Stop Spam Texts, Norton

 

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