Scammers might take advantage of every new means of communication. Spam texts and text scams are an uncomfortable intrusion into your private life that, if you fall for them, can cause chaos in your life.
Just ask anyone who has been a victim of the Walmart text scam, which has been going strong in 2021. SMS scams all have the same goal: to steal your money by obtaining your personal information. People all around the world now have fast access to information.
They’re also constantly changing. In 2019, the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker program added 47,567 new text scams to their database. To protect yourself, your friends, and your family, learn how to recognize a spam SMS.
When you know what you’re looking for, smishing, or phishing by SMS, is frequently easy to spot. These are the frequent warning flags that can alert you if you’re trying to sift out spam and SMS scams from your message inbox.
Unusually long numbers
If a text message is genuine, it will normally come from a number with no more than ten digits. A six-digit shortcode or a 10-digit commercial long code is used to send marketing messages. Text carriers are banning shared shortcodes in 2021, partly in reaction to scammers, which means more businesses will text from toll-free or local lines.
You can probably assume you’re getting an SMS scam if you get a text from a number with 11 digits. Receiving a spam text from a lengthy number is uncommon, but if it does, proceed with caution before responding. In fact, you probably don’t want to respond to this text.
Texts about family crises
It’s frightening to learn of a family catastrophe. If you received a text from an unknown number asking for assistance, you might be tempted to send money to an unknown place in the hopes of assisting a loved one. This psychology is used in family crisis text scams to make receivers believe a family member is in danger and that they must give money to help.
When it comes to money, err on the side of caution and approach the situation with skepticism. It’s very possible that you’ve been the victim of an SMS scam.
If you’re not sure if a text is legitimate, check with family members to see if they’ve got the same message. Additionally, if the text references a specific individual by name, try contacting them directly before responding to the initial text.
Instead of providing money, if a family member is actually in distress, contact the appropriate authorities.
A text refund scam is another typical text fraud. In essence, you’ll get a message claiming that you’ve been overcharged for a service many text scammers pose as phone service providers. If you give your direct deposit information, the text will offer you a refund.
Isn’t that fantastic? Nope! If you give up your financial information, the scammer will have access to your routing and account numbers and will be able to steal from you. Sending banking information over an unprotected network is never a good idea.
Scammers have devised a variety of inventive methods for obtaining your personal information. Offering random prizes, such as cash and material goods, is one of these methods. What’s the catch?
In order to claim the “prize,” you’ll need to provide your bank account information or other personal information. A common example of this is the Walmart text scam, so if you’ve suddenly received a “prize” from Walmart, don’t reply to it.
While text sweepstakes are a legal kind of text marketing, be wary of winning a contest you didn’t enter. Restrain yourself, despite the exhilaration of receiving an offer that seems too good to be true.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’re not sure if the offer is genuine, call the company that is supposed to be running the contest and ask for confirmation.
In 2022, stay wary of common text frauds
As the country reopens after the pandemic, there are always new frauds to be aware of. There are also several “classic” con games that continue to exist in various versions.
There are some scam strategies that are more widely used than others. Here is a list of frequent text scams and spam text messages to avoid in 2022.
Scam SMS from Walmart
The fraudster will send you a spam text stating that you’ve won a free Walmart gift card, which is one of the most prevalent Walmart spam text messages examples. To claim your prize, they’ll want you to click on a link and submit your personal information.
It’s most likely a fraud if you don’t recall entering the contest. Entering personal information on websites like this is a no-no.
If you believe the offer is authentic, try to locate contact information for the contest’s organizers. It’s almost certainly a fraud if you can’t discover any information.
Another popular Walmart text scam involves scammers inviting you to participate in a survey regarding your shopping experience. To do so, you must click on a link to a survey and enter personal information.
On a site like this, do not provide personal or account information.
Text scam on Craigslist
There are several different Craigslist SMS scams out there. Scammers who are looking for easy targets frequent the online classified page. Phishing is the most common scam on Craigslist.
Scammers will frequently send you a text message claiming that you have notifications regarding a Craigslist listing. Keep an eye out for the domain. cl-review.org is a typical scam name, but there may be others that, like this one, look like a legitimate Craigslist site but aren’t. Don’t click on any links that don’t lead you straight to Craigslist, and don’t give out any personal information on a site that isn’t controlled by Craigslist.
Western Union text scam
Western Union SMS scams come in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the most common is a charity scam, in which the fraudster requests money to assist victims of an emergency.
It’s important to remember that respectable charities do not accept donations via Western Union.
Smishing is another popular Western Union text scam in which scammers attempt to obtain personal identification information from you in order to commit identity theft. Don’t provide any personal information by text messaging, and be cautious of any links that go to online pages that appear to be “off.”
Since then, evolving strategies for defrauding people have been circulating; we must be intelligent and vigilant to avoid falling victim to these many types of fraud.
Be aware of text and email messages in order to prevent engaging in actions that could affect your entire life in the long term.