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.

of course not. haha

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?

I received a text from a random number which had a link to YouTube, and at the bottom it said "James..."
I figured it could've been the person got the wrong phone number but I still clicked on the link (like a dummy).
Does that mean I have a virus?

i received a text, today, Dec 3rd at 3:52pm stating that I may receive refunds from AT&T for paying for charges from other companies on my bill. It then provides a link to you, www.ftc.gov/att for information. Is this legit?

As part of a lawsuit filed by the FTC against AT&T, AT&T will refund consumers who were billed by third parties without autorization. AT&T is sending out text messages to customers who had premium text message charges added to their bills sometime after January 2009. If you didn't authorize any premium text message services, then you will want to file a claim at ftc.gov/att.

Can someone please help? I keep getting texts that are from emails. I was dumb enough to click the link, and it led me to this website to get money fast. I didnt enter any information, I just visited the site. This was a couple weeks ago, and my device has worked fine. Am I okay?

just got a text from (209)227-4533 with a link Mstr.mobi/25chips/0rBT6 Reported it to my Verizon 7726

Hi,got a text from "offers@sprint.com" telling me I have won a fifty dollar gift card for taco bell. And a link to redeem. I assume this is some kind of scam,but using Sprints name? And normally messages from sprint don't come from a seven digit phone number. No area code,so must be a local number. Usually,messages are from a five digit number.

You're right; it's probably a scam. Don’t click on a link in a text message you get on your phone that says you’ve won a prize or a gift card. Don’t reply either.

I got a text message about some Nike gift card on my phone and saying that I should check out this cool app called appleshock(Can't remember the name) but what really scares me is that the message had the name of a family member saying "--Name" at the end. But it showed the the message was sent from my sister's phone, which wasn't working at the time. I am confuse.

today I received a text from the number unfamiliar to me but with my local area code. when I check the text message it immediately started downloading the attachment it came with. I was checking the message to see if anything was suspicious I should've noticed immediately being that it was an unrecognized number but, I continued to download to see if it wasn't a picture from someone I know. once the download was complete the message deleted itself and I've yet to find out what was downloaded even after looking through my downloads which were empty and still empty after the fact.I'm afraid I may have just fallen victim to a phishing scam of some sort. if anyone has had the same problem please advise on what you did.

If you get another message like this, don’t click on the links in the text message. Links can take you to spoof sites that look real but will steal your personal information.

You can 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.

Leave a Comment

Comment Policy

Read Our Privacy Act Statement

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.