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.

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..

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.

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