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Staying Safe in a World of Scammers: Text Messages

03-04-24

In today’s digital age, receiving spam text messages has become an unfortunate reality for many of us. These unsolicited messages can range from annoying advertisements to dangerous phishing attempts. It’s essential to be able to recognize spam texts to protect yourself from potential scams and safeguard your personal information.

One common indicator of a spam text message is the presence of grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. Legitimate businesses and organizations usually take care to ensure their messages are well-written and professional. Another red flag is if the message asks for personal information such as your bank details, Social Security number, or passwords. No reputable company would request such sensitive information via text message. Additionally, be wary of messages that contain suspicious links. Clicking on these links could lead to malware being installed on your device.

How can you avoid being tricked? Always keep these tips front of mind:

  • Never discuss account numbers, PINs, or other personal information with anyone who contacts you, even if they say they are from your bank or credit union.
  • If the person claiming a problem with your account needs your account information, hang up and call the bank yourself.
  • Don’t call the number in a text, email, or voice mail. It will connect you directly with the scammers. Always look up the number online or review the number listed on your debit or credit card.
  • Don’t click on text message links from people you don’t know, even if it seems to be your bank or credit union. These links can be deceiving and direct you to a fraudulent site or expose your device to malware.
  • Your bank or credit union will never ask you to send money to yourself (or anyone else)!

To learn more about how to recognize and report text spam text messages, visit the FTC’s Consumer Advice site.

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