More Americans are getting texts from scammers. The Federal Trade Commission reports that those scams took consumers for $330 million in 2022.
These were the most common scams:
Copycat bank fraud prevention alerts
One of the most common text message scams is when a person gets a message from what they think is their bank. Many of those texts ask consumers to call a number immediately or reply because there is "suspicious activity" on their account.
"If they reply, they’ll get a call from a phony 'fraud department' claiming they want to 'help get your money back,'” the FTC says. "What they really want to do is make unauthorized transfers."
Free gift scams
Don't be fooled by the offer of a free gift. Even if the text looks like it's from a company you're familiar with, experts say to ignore it.
Usually the scams will require a consumer to enter the credit card information to pay for shipping, but the FTC says that's really just so the scammer can get your credit card information.
Fake package delivery problems
Scammers are trying to cash in as more people shop online and wait for deliveries to arrive at their door. The Federal Trade Commission says people are reporting phony texts from the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS. Consumers have reported being asked to pay a "redelivery fee" for an item they were expecting. The FTC says this is just another way scammers are trying to get your credit card information.
How to report text scams
You don't have to sit back and just continue receiving text message scams. You can report them to them to the FTC by forwarding the message to 7726 (SPAM). Consumers are also encouraged to block the numbers.
In March 2024, mobile service providers will be required to block illegal robotexts.
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