All cell phone users often use their phones to text people they know many times a day. But have you ever received a text message from someone you do not know? Sure, it could be a mistaken attempt; however, it is more likely that it is a scammer trying to steal your personal and financial information. Do you know how to handle and report unwanted text messages?
The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Advice website offers excellent information on recognizing and reporting spam text messages. They want to educate anyone using a mobile device or computer about phishing fraudulent attempts to steal personal information. Scammers can use any means to trick you into sharing information or giving you money.
Scammers want to entice you to click on links in their text messages or emails by promising free prizes, gift cards, low or no-interest-rate credit cards, or promises to help pay off student loans. They may even send you unwanted calendar invitations or subscriptions to your phone. The thing is, scammers will not help you, but they will hurt you.
If you receive any message asking for personal information from someone you do not know, do not click on any links. The legitimate companies you use won't ask for information about your account by text. Remember, it takes only one click to install harmful malware on your computer or phone that steals your personal or financial information without you realizing it.
If you get an unwanted text message, there are three ways to report it:
- Copy the message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM). This step helps your wireless provider spot and block similar messages in the future.
- Report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
- Report it on your phone's messaging app. You will need to look for the option to report junk or spam.
Remember, it's safer to presume it's a scam if you are suspicious about an unexpected message, call, or request for personal information or money. If you want to be sure, contact that company directly if you need to.
If you have found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and family.