Can the Spam Texts (And Robocalls)
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RU getting the MSG? Recently, the FTC moved to shut down a network of scammers who sent spam texts that promised “free” gifts, prizes, electronics, or gift cards. The catch? Clicking on the links in the texts sent recipients on a wild goose chase: a confusing and elaborate process that required them to pay for subscription services, apply for credit, or enter sensitive personal information – including their phone numbers. There were no free gifts or gift cards, but there were plenty of follow-up illegal robocalls.
If you get a spam text:
- Delete any texts asking you to confirm or provide personal information. Legitimate companies don’t ask for information like account numbers or passwords by text or email.
- Don’t reply, and don’t click on links provided in the message. Links can install malware and take you to spoof sites that look real but whose purpose is to steal your information.
- Don’t give out any personal information in response to a text. A spammer wants access to your Social Security number, credit card numbers, and bank and utility account numbers to open new accounts in your name.
- Report spam texts to your carrier. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscribers can copy the original text and forward it to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
- Review your cell phone bill for unauthorized charges. Report them to your carrier.
And what if you get an illegal robocall?
- Hang up, without pressing any numbers. If you press a number, including one to speak with an operator to get off the call list, it may lead to more robocalls.
- Contact your phone provider and ask them to block the number. Some phone providers charge for this service, and illegal telemarketers are notorious for changing their Caller ID information often. Decide whether it’s worth paying a fee to block a number that is likely to change soon.
- Put your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
- Report the robocall to ftc.gov/complaint.