Random text? Wait, wait, don’t click that!

Here’s a tip that’s worth repeating:

Don’t click on a link in a text message you get on your phone that says you’ve won a terrific prize or a gift card. Don’t reply either. It’s probably a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission settled charges with a group of marketers that were part of a scheme that sent millions of unsolicited spam text messages promoting supposedly free merchandise like $1,000 gift cards for Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

People who clicked the links in the messages didn’t get the promised prizes. Instead, they were taken to websites that asked them to give personal information and sign up for multiple offers, often involving purchases or paid subscriptions.

What can you do about unwanted text messages?

  • Delete unwanted text messages that ask you to enter a special code, or to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies won’t send you a text asking for sensitive information.
  • Don’t click on links in the text message. Links can take you to spoof sites that look real but will steal your personal information.
  • Report spam texts to your carrier. Copy the original message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge, if you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint subscriber.
Blog Topics: 
Privacy & Identity

Comments

I fell for that Best Buy one once but never again. This message cannot be made known enough, especially with the contact information for reporting scammers.

It's easy to believe that a corporation as huge as Walmart would give prizes via text. TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, though. IGNORE texts from "Walmart," or from "whoever," because they are phishing.

You never get something for nothing. It's your money don't fall for it!

This is vital. I have recently begun receiving random emails from unknown addresses. I don't open them, but it infuriates me that they arrive. Strangely enough, I didn't receive any of these until I put my number on the "do not call" site. I have to wonder if there is any correlation.

Thanks for the warning. Here is another scam and identify theft: The Blue Bird Card by Walmart and American Express has their emblem on the card. Is becoming a identify theft problem all over the USA. I agree do not open any email not familiar and watch where we use our prepaid cards. Thanks for the warning. Blue Bird Card with American Express Emblem is giving the original American Express a bad rap, because of identify theft is rapidly increasing.

WATCH OUT FOR YOUR CHILDREN. NOT ONLY DID THE THIEF GET ME, HE/SHE GOT MY 14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER AS WELL!!! PROTECT YOUR CHILD'S INFORMATION. JUST CUZ THEY DON'T HAVE CREDIT YET DOESN'T MEAN THAT SOMEONE WON'T TRY TO STEAL YOUR CHILD'S INFORMATION.

I am not surprised they fooled you and your daughter.

What if I did respond to one of these texts? What should I do?

Just received this text message. I reported the content and sender's phone number to 7726 (SPAM). Hopefully AT&T takes care of it. What should I do if I called the number? Obviously I didn't give out any info but can they do anything if I only called the number?

"Atlfedcu FRAUD ALERT!: Your Bankcard has been temporarily -SUSPENDED-. Please call (973)368-5560"

Text received from Atlantic FCU (973) 432-5926 telling me my VISA had been temporarily suspended and asking me to call (973) 494-7995 immediately.

Wow People Make Me Sick

I had to pay 110.00 to cancel a loan application is this a SCAM or this what was required?

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