Many marketing managers all over the world are waking up to the benefits of marketing their products and services via text messages. The reason for this is that over 80% of all smartphone users open all their text messages, so there’s a great chance that people will see your ads. With the popularity of SMS marketing increasing, of course, scammers and cybercriminals will attempt to swoop in and fool people for their monetary gain in a series of scam text messages.
There are many ways for a scammer to dupe you into divulging important information to them via text, and most of those ways involve having you click on malicious links. Once you lower your guard and let the scammers in, they can use your information however they want.
In the coming paragraphs, we’ll tell you all about the ways online scammers can attempt to take advantage of you via text message.
What Are Scam Text Messages?
Most scammers want information about you that they can use either for identity theft, to steal money from your bank, or to sell on the dark web for money. They could use your banking details to make purchases for themselves with your banking information, transfer all your money to themselves, or even just impersonate you to commit crimes or acts that are harmful to your reputation.
If a link you receive via text message or email is asking you to give any of the following information away, beware. It could be a phishing attempt.
Scammers use many kinds of hooks and offer to get you to give them this information, and sometimes you may even be tempted to take the risk, because the possible reward seems worth it, but don’t fall for it!
How To Identify Scam Text Messages
Scam text messages are always creative and attractive, but sometimes they’re very obviously trying to bait you into falling for offers that are too good to be true. Some of the tell-tale signs of scam text messages are:
- the promise of free gift cards, prizes, or coupons
- the offer of a low or no interest credit card
- an offer to pay off your student loan debt
- a fake invoice asking you to contact them in case you didn’t make the purchase
Sometimes, they go the other way and try to scare you into giving away your personal information. They don’t threaten you, but they do insinuate that your accounts may be at risk or breach, and the only people who can help you are them. They say that they can make the problem go away if you can provide them with some crucial information.
These scam messages may look anything like a message saying:
- they’ve noticed suspicious activity on your accounts
- there’s a problem with your payment information for any service you subscribe to
- someone is trying to hack into your accounts (spoiler alert, it’s them!)
In these cases, verify the identity of the sender and don’t reply to any messages on impulse, especially if they’re asking you about personal information. If you feel like replying is important, you can run the phone number through Google, or even better, Social Catfish’s own search engine, to see what comes up. Our search engine is more powerful and accurate than Google and is specially designed to help people find scammers or verify catfishes.
What To Do About Scam Text Messages
If you ever get any scam text messages, the most important thing you can do is to never click on any links, even if you’re curious. Some malicious scams like cryptojacking and pharming don’t need you to put information into links for them to work. In these cases, fraudulent codes are installed into your computer devices and keep running in the background. You wouldn’t even know they’re there, at least not until the scammers have already gotten away with what they wanted to do.
You can also block any spam text messages and even calls on your phone, either with the help of your wireless service provider (your router should have the option in the settings) or with a call blocking app. The latest android and apple phones have built-in options to protect you from spam and scams.
If you want to report scam text messages, you can report them to the FTC. Just copy and send the message to 7726. You can also report the message to your messaging app.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you ever receive scam messages or are already a victim of this kind of scam, you also need to report the theft to the police. You can run the numbers, links, or any other information you have about the scammers through Social Catfish’s reverse search engine and use the information you find to help discover who could have possibly gotten away with your money or details. At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about scam text messages.