PHONY TEXTING SCHEMES HAVE SKYROCKETED
Scams involving fake texts have escalated—especially as the pandemic wears on. Scam texting can take several forms. The text may look like a delivery “confirmation” from UPS or USPS, or even from companies like Netflix or Amazon. How it works: the text may appear to be an Amazon delivery notification or an “urgent update” about the delivery of a package. It will then ask that personal information be “confirmed” in order to get the package. The fraudster often has one piece of the victim’s information—from a phone book or social media account. Naturally, clicking the link in the text will be a pipeline to scammers. According to fraud prevention experts, many of these scammers share the same area codes, which may make them easier to spot. “If you get an out-of-the-blue text from 917, 765, 646, 470, 347 or 332 area codes,” you should view the text with suspicion, according to Komando.com.
There are steps you can take if you receive one of these text messages. Obviously, if the suspicious text asks for a payment, delete it immediately. If you entered your credit card number, call your credit card company and consider asking them to freeze or cancel that card and send you a new one. You should also change the password you use for online banking for that card immediately, and if you haven’t yet set up two-factor authentication for the card at issue and for your phone service—it’s a good idea to put it in place with your provider. If you keep receiving spam text messages, contact your cell provider. For most major carriers—including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, you can try copying the offending message, and texting it to 7726 (SPAM). According to the FTC, you may receive a reply from the carrier which might include a request to send the phone number that the spam message originated from—so the FTC can follow-up. You can also report persistent scamming to ftc.gov/complaint.