Mobile devices can be very useful. They help us keep track of our busy schedules, follow news and social media, and pay our bills. They also keep us connected to family and friends, something many of us do via text.
If you have a cell phone, you probably use it dozens of times a day to text people you know. But have you ever gotten a text message from an unknown sender? It could be a scammer trying to steal your personal information.
Never respond to messages asking you to give personal information such as:
· annual income
· how much debt you owe
· bank account
· credit card
· Social Security number
Do not respond to these messages not even to claim your gift or prize offer. They may tell you to click on a link to learn more about the issue. Some links may take you to a spoofed website that looks real but isn’t. If you log in, the scammers can then steal your user name and password.
Text scams can take a variety of forms and are sometimes referred to as "smishing" – a mashup of SMS ("short message service") and phishing.
If you get a text message that you weren’t expecting and it asks you to give or verify personal information, DO NOT click on any links. Legitimate companies won’t ask for information about you or your account by text.
If you think the message might be real, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the text message.
There are many ways you can filter unwanted text messages or stop them before they reach you.
Here are a few things you can do about unwanted text messages and how to report them.
Keep your guard up
● Do not respond to texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
● Never share sensitive personal or financial information by text.
● Think twice before clicking any links in a text message. If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren't hacked.
● If a business sends you a text that you weren't expecting, call them to verify its authenticity using the number on your bill or statement, or look up their number online.
● Remember that government agencies almost never initiate contact by phone or text.
● Report texting scam attempts to your wireless service provider by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (or "SPAM").
● File a complaint with the FCC.
● If you think you're the victim of a texting scam, report it immediately to your local law enforcement agency and notify your wireless service provider and financial institutions where you have accounts.
Call our firm at 718-674-1245 today and let’s see how we can help.