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  • Sep 21, 2021

Tech Talk with Jeff - Text Message Scams

Just like with email, scammers try to scam you with text messages.

This, in some ways, is more dangerous than the scams that come through email because of the immediacy of text messages. We tend to take less time looking at and determining if a text message is dangerous. Scammers are trying to get you to click, just like with email. In general, you should never trust links in emails or text messages no matter who the message is from. This includes friends, companies you use, etc. It is always better to directly go to a website and not use the link. And while we are on the topic of links, there are tools that allow you to shorten website URLs. A powerful tool for scammers. This means you are not seeing the entire path and can’t determine if there is a threat in the underlying link that has been provided.

Common text message scams include messages that look like they come from a carrier saying you have a package coming and you can track it. Another type is a link to someone’s Facebook or Instagram page. Or ones with urgency, such as, if you don’t respond your account is going to be locked or closed. Winning a prize is also another common scam.

The scammer’s idea here is to either tempt you to click on the link or to scare you into clicking on the link and to do it quickly so you don’t have time to question what is in front of you. The best policy is to avoid clicking on these links. If you need to contact someone, like your financial institution, about a message you received, use information you find elsewhere (statement, search on web) to contact them. You never want to use the information provided in the email or text message since it may well lead you right back to the scammers. This is true of any information provided in scam messages such as a web address or phone numbers. 

As always, be aware and careful about the messages you receive on any of your devices. No matter what the source of the message or the type of message.

Be aware and be safe!

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