Texting scams are on the rise. Texting is cheap, easy, and scammers count on the ding of an incoming text being hard to ignore.
About $330 million in losses were reported nationwide in 2022 to text scams, that’s more than double the 2021 reported losses, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network.
How do these scams work? Scammers send fake text messages to trick you into giving your personal information, things like your password, account number, or Social Security number. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers.
Scammers try to get you to click on links in text messages by promising free prizes, gift cards, or coupons. Or they might send fake messages saying they have information about your account or a transaction. Scammers may:
- Say they’ve noticed suspicious activity on your account;
- Claim there’s a problem with your payment;
- Send you a bogus package delivery notification;
- Present phony job offers;
- Or, fake an Amazon security alert.
So, what should you do? Here are a few tips from the FTC to avoid becoming a victim:
- Never click on links or respond to unexpected texts;
- Filter unwanted spam texts;
- Never give personal or financial information in response to a request you didn’t expect.
If you think the message might be real, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real, not the information in the text message. Don’t “Google” a customer service number, go directly to the merchant’s website and locate trusted “Contact Us” information.
To learn more about scams and tips to keep your information safe, visit cefcu.com/security. To learn more about text scams visit ftc.gov/textscams.