You may be lured to open the link for further information if you receive random notifications from “AT&T” offering a free reward or “FedEx” alerting you to an incomplete delivery. Please don’t do it. These emails may appear genuine, particularly if you have a subscription with the purported sender.
So before you get too enthusiastic about your “prize,” there are a few warning signs to be aware of. Paying close attention to these red flags can secure your personal information and reduce your risk of text message fraud.
Never Click on Links
Con artists are crafty. They will send communications that look to be from real companies, like your wireless provider, bank, or medical center. They will include a link requesting that you verify your account details. The URL then leads to a website that may appear authentic but is fraudulent. The purpose is to store your username, password, and other personal data for future use.
If you get an unusual message with a link, you should not click on it. If you open it by chance, don’t enter your account information or other personal data.
Research before Sending STOP
A simple way to avoid getting non-malicious spam text messages (such as that restaurant giving a free smoothie) is to respond with “STOP.” It can be a quick and simple approach to stop messages from various sources, including political campaigns and internet service providers.
However, scammers use this same method to deceive you into reacting to their messages, confirming that your mobile phone number is real. They can use it to send you additional messages or make automated phone calls.
Instead of immediately answering STOP to an unwelcome text message, take a moment to research the number online to determine if it belongs to a recognized business or organization that sends text messages.
Thanks to advanced technology, modern gadgets include built-in locking mechanisms. You can find these tools on both iOS and Android devices. On an iPhone, for example, open the message in the Messages app, press the profile picture at the top, and then click the Info icon. Tap the mobile number on the subsequent screen, then Block this Caller at the foot of the subsequent screen.
In contrast, the technique to block a number on Android varies based on the manufacturer of your phone and the messaging app you’re utilizing.
Alternatively, you can download apps that block spam messages. Most apps enable you to block specific phone numbers and keywords.
Lastly, you can use voice broadcast service tools. Notably, most con artists employ automated numbers and apps to make messages or calls to their victims. A service tool with answering machine detection will help determine whether your business’ outgoing calls are answered by an answering machine, fax, or a person. Thus, you will determine whether you’re talking to a real person or an app.
Report Bad Messages to Your Mobile Carrier
If you cannot verify a message’s sender or know it’s spam, forward it to 7726 (which spells spam on your phone’s keypad).
Mobile carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T take spam reports using this number. Their representatives may send a follow-up message requesting more details or to confirm the number that sent the original message.
Some mobile carriers, like Sprint, will blocklist the number following your report.
File a Complaint with the FCC to Help Curb Spam SMS
Again, you can submit a report with the FCC if you live in the United States and wish to put an end to present and future spammy messages. You can report when you get any one (or all) of these messages.
- A promotional text message sent without prior consent
- A prerecorded message sent out to your cellphone without your permission
- Unsolicited commercial message from a telecoms firm or another business advertising a telecoms company’s products or services
Although filing will not immediately prevent texts from appearing on your phone, it will aid the FCC in tracking down the perpetrators.
You can also file a complaint regarding spammy calls.
Now you’re in the know. Although these tips will help you avoid and report spam messages and calls, the list is inconclusive. Con artists are perfecting their game by the day, underscoring the importance of dealing with active service providers and always being in the know