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

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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.

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.

No it's not. They don't need to give away 1,000$ so why would they? I've never heard of a major retailer doing a giveaway. Come on..

What do you mean "No it's not"? What question is this an answer to?

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

I also started receiving texts with my full name and address after enrolling on the Do Not Call list. I am guessing there is a correlation... It's not the Do Not Text list, so maybe that's a loophole?

I also recently registered my number on the do not call list and received a text with my full name and address with a link to a website. Even though it was 4:00 am when they sent it, I was waking enough to think logically and not click on the link. I reported the message and it's content to AT&T via 7726. This is getting ridiculous. You don't answer their phone calls so they send text messages with your personal information? Really?

If you register with the FTC for the legitimate Do Not Call registry, you need to give your email. Within 72 hours after you register the number, you will get an email that confirms your registration. You have to click on a link in the email from the Do Not Call registry to complete the registration. If you don't click on the link in the email, you won't be registered.

The legitimate Do Not Call registry with the FTC does not ask for your name or address. If you found a site that is pretending to be the FTC Do Not Call registry, please report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

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.

Bluebird itself is not a scam. It is a partnership between Walmart and Amex. If theres anything to worry about it would be the fact that pretty much all the people they employee to help with your account issues are from a country well known for their scam "artists". Skimming is another one.

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.

I know! I've been getting a lot of texts from bit.ly with inappropriate messages on it, like "H0p on here so I can flirt with you " (that's an actual one I got) and it's really annoying. I haven't responded, and when I researched bit.ly it told me it was a customer service platform so I'm rather nervous about the whole thing. I keep deleting the messages but they keep popping up. Not sure what to do

Report it, then block them from calling or texting you. Look at your options available in your text message list. On Android, its "More", "Block number". Pretty sure Apple has that function too.

Bit.ly is a link shortener

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?

Sounds like a scam. It's free to apply for a loan so why does it cost money to cancel it. Think about it.

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.

What if you DID click because you thought it was a friend who you know got a new phone number? I received one with him suggesting I use Ever to store photos. I DID click on link and took me to app store. Just want can they access from there? I did not enter any password or anything. So, how would you know if anything was affected?

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.

I get loads of those! What is it?!?!

I have been receiving random texts also.. I just got one that had suggested something sexual and it said to leave them a message to a bit.ly site that I know is a download link. I had recieved one yesterday from a different email and a different message but suggesting the same thing and with the same link. I know not to click on it but how do I stop these from happening?

When internet fraudsters impersonate a business to trick you into giving out your personal information, it’s called phishing. Don't reply to email, text, or pop-up messages that ask for your personal or financial information. Don’t click on links within them either. 

You can file a complaint about the messages with the ftc at ftc.gov/complaint.

If you get repeated calls from the same number, you could ask your phone provider if it charges for a service that blocks calls from a particular number.

i clicked a youtube link for free gift cards and i entered credit card number. 2 days later 500 bucks missing from account. i cant let anyone know i need help...

Have you ever told anyone your own account

I hope it all worked out. Never give any account info unless you initiate a purchase. Don't click links. It's just not worth it.

Im getting texts from people saying they have tagged me (im assuming facebook) but i dont facebook??? Why do they send these....different number each time....

i got a text and when i checked the number it came from i found out it was a real phone number, but the phone was out of service. how is that possible? really need to figure this out. it was to buy or join anything but lots more personal. help

7726 is not working on T-Mobile

I got an SMS from a sender with an email address instead of a phone number... press and hold to get to the options of what to do with the message, and there isn't an option to forward to SPAM thing with T-Mobile. HELP!

I emailed someone a few weeks ago. I have received texts messages containing personal information from the private email. These are random texts from bit ly. Who are they coming from? How did they get my phone number? (the person that I sent the email doesn't have my phone number?)

ive been getting messages like that too. All I know is you shouldn't answer it. One asked if i was a famous actor. Another discussed me getting drunk when i know i never had alcohol since im underaged.

thanks u very muc

I got a text with my full name and address and a URL. I did not click and reported it to 7726. Creepy!

I got that same text today. Creeped me out and I reported it also. From the phone number 330-944-2946.

I just received one like that as well!! Very scary!

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