We all have smartphones, and more than likely receiving text messages is a common part of our daily lives. Sometimes the text messages we receive are random and sent from a number that is not on our contact list, and sometimes those messages are scams. In fact texting has long been a source of scams but with the coronavirus pandemic criminals are ramping up their attacks and seeing a much higher success rate.
Here are some recent scams that we all must be aware of:
In one widely reported scam, a text message is received informing the recipient that they've come in contact with an individual who has contracted the coronavirus and need to self isolate and get tested. After instilling fear, the text message provides a link for more information hoping the victims peaked curiosity takes control, however clicking on the link could lead to malware or could coerce the individual into providing more sensitive information.
Some texting scams play the role of a government agency to make their claim seem more convincing, for residents with stricter quarantine requirements texting scams try to convince their victim that they've been caught breaking quarantine rules and are being levied to fine. A link would be provided by the scammer to garner their victim's payment information for their fine which undoubtedly would be sending the victims financial information straight to the scammer.
Other texting scams focusing on financial relief are becoming just as popular, these messages also claim to be sent from government agencies, and offer the individual additional funds or stimulus checks to help pay for bills and services. To tap into this free money all the victim needs to do is provide the sender with their banking information. Unfortunately the text is fake and the money isn't coming Even worse now the scammer has direct access to the victim's bank account.
Texting scams will continue throughout this pandemic and beyond. Don't click on any links in suspicious text messages that you were not expecting, also don't text back, a reply will alert the scammer that your phone number is valid and may leave you susceptible to more scams. The best approach is to delete the suspicious text so you do not return later and mistakenly fall for the bait. Check with your wireless provider to see if they have any tools or applications that can help lessen these scams. As always if you have any questions or concerns please call us at 229-924-9911.