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

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.

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.

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!

I received that same text today. It is very creepy. How do you report it to the 7726 system?

If you receive unwanted commercial text messages, file a complaint with the FTC.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also accepts complaints about unwanted text messages.

I just received the same type of message with my full name & address and a link. very worried that I got this. Did not click the link.

Yesterday I received 2 texts a minute apart from different numbers with my name address and a link. Reporting them both.

+1 (470) 819-5044- this number sent me a text that had my name and street address followed by a link. I have never seen this. What is it and how do they know my name and address?

I just got the same thing from (734)333-7241 My street address - my full name -

That happened to me this morning!

I got the same thing, my name and address followed by a link. I think we all clicked a bad Facebook post and are being fished. Right before Christmas too. Awesome.

The same thing happened to me today! I received a text with my first and last name and my complete address + a link.

I just received the same thing but with the words you better take care of and my address and full name. So weird. Kinda scary.

I received a note that had my first and last name and then the words "how are things at" and then my address. no other link to go to….

The number I received the text from is 267-930-5126 and it contained my full name and address as well, along with a website. This is very scary. I have never had anything like this happen before.

I've had the same thing to happen. What should we do?

Yup, just receieved a message from 360-889-8691 and it had my first and last name, address, and a link. It was my married last name which wasn't officially changed and so mostly everything except like health care is still in my maiden name....the website address listed was http:

i wouldn't click on a link if there was one, but with old school flip phone, don't have the option!

I have tried using 7726 today (as I have done may times) and it doesn't seem to work anymore.. no response

Just got that same creepy message and link but from +1 (754) 220-5848. Had my shortened first name, last name and address with a link. I reported it to Verizon but very weird

I have been getting similar messages with my first name and address and a link. I have received three messages from three different numbers. I have US Cellular. Is there a way to stop this from happening?

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.

I've recently been getting phone calls from other cities in Canada claiming that I'm a prostitue in the New west area. I find this disturbing. First they call, and then they start texting you asking how much? Or that they're in town looking for a whale escort.... Ive gotten two from Alberta, one from Ontario and a few local numbers. I hate they do this at odd hours. Now I've got unknown and random numbers calling leaving messages that I'm this Ben person and they're waiting for me to submit the documents? I'm pretty sure this is spam but it's really annoying. I just want my phone to stop buzzing. Just wondering if others are getting harassing messages like those...

I too just got a text from 2017302689 with only my name addy and a link. I reported it as spam, but wish there was more info around about whatever this is right now. So far this has been the most helpful site with assurance I wasn't the only one.

I just got the same type of text with my full name, area code, and a URL link in the middle of the night! So creepy! Reported it.

So did I!! Very scary.

I'm suspicious that this happened because I changed my address online with USPS. After I completed my forwarding address form I was directed to ads, coupons, and offers to get paid for doing surveys.right after I filled these things out my email account was bombarded with offers. Has someone hacked the postal services server?

I got this message this morning from a 205 area code. I have no idea what this is, any ideas?

"Your friend has asked you a question on Kiwi! Go to www.kiwi. to find out what she asked"

I got one today and I clicked on it....

Hi, I just got a random text saying "You still got it" and a link after that. I didn't click the link, but I did reapond to the text. Should I be worried? Is there something I need to do?

If you respond to one text, you might get more.

If you do, 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.

got a text at 4:17am from 470-719-0017, my full name, address then it said finish, with a link to click, i did not click it, i deleted it..have no clue what or who but after reading here, i am glad i didn't click it..

Just received pornographic images from 347-730-7736. I read the above advice and reported them to Verizon, and also blocked them. This was incredibly shocking to receive via text while at work. Is there anything else I can do to make sure this person is caught?

Got a text message this morning from an email stating that money was donated to me (I think, it didn't have dollar signs but am assuming). There was no link but there was an email they said I should contact. No clue what's going on or how someone got my number, as I don't give it out to many people. Trying to find out who the email links to!

Hello, I need help! I have gotten so many different confusing texts on my cellphone. now it is just a normal old school flip phone. the last message I received is from a random email address example(       ) and it sys something about Cialis and Viagra use special code Big bo*** to receive a deal on my order. no option to reply.. the next problem was from a local number saying click the link to video chat. I never clicked the link, but I did ask who it was. They never called me back or texted. I have uscellular, someone please help me

If you get 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.

All 4 phones on my account received a text message this morning from 1(410) 100-001 with a link to a YouTube page. None of us clicked on the link but I went on YouTube to see if I can find what this was and it appears to be a darn political ad talking about how "first time in decades we have a somebody with INTEGRITY".

The name "Jim" appears in the from section and the subject line is "Together" along with the link 

I contacted AT&T (well, I reported it to 7726 for SPAM.) The thing that really ticked us off was that the messages came in at 4AM while we were all sleeping! Thinking that it was sent to us since we live in Pennsylvania and the Primary is this week (I think). Still, messages were unwanted and I would love to punch the idiot responsible for sending them! :)

I just received a text that has my home address and then a link I have never heard of. I don't want to click on it but I am curious. It is a 209 area code number which is no where near me.

I have a random text message that says From Jim. Subject- together. And go to you tube address. Says first time in decades we have a somebody with integrity. Not going there. Figure they`re phishing.

727-245-0444
Sends text with my full name, address, and a link at 3AM.

I just got a text message with my name on it and then a link to a map to my address. I've also been getting constant calls from long distance numbers from everywhere. I started blocking calls, but they continue from different numbers

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