By: EZ Texting
Have you ever received a suspect text message from an unknown number?
In recent years, fraudsters have started to use text messaging as a means to steal sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, and more. These kinds of messages cost consumers millions of dollars per year!
In fact, a Wells Fargo text message scam has been wreaking havoc lately.
In most cases, the text comes with a link attached. When recipients click on the link, they are usually directed in a fraudulent form page where they're asked to verify banking information. Unfortunately, once the account information is entered and submitted, it's too late – scammers have all the information they need to access the account and transfer funds.
So, what do you need to do to protect yourself from this scam and others like it?
5 Lessons to Learn From the Wells Fargo Text Scam
Unfortunately, thieves have been taking advantage of unsuspecting victims for many years. You might be next on a text scammer's hit list!
Here are the five lessons you must learn from the Wells Fargo text scam:
1. Always Question the Legitimacy of Text Messages
Most victims fall for text scams because scammers are great at making the text message appear as if it was sent from a legitimate source. As a best practice, always question the legitimacy of text messages.
For example, if you received a text message from the "bank," make sure you call a local branch to double-check that the text message was actually sent from an affiliate or another reputable source. And even if you think you recognize the phone number, it's always a good idea to tread with a bit of caution.
"If you suspect, for some reason, that such a message may be legitimate – for example, if you are buying a house and your real estate agent texts you a question – contact the sender by calling him or her, and provide the relevant information after recognizing his or her voice," says Joseph Steinberg, CEO at SecureMySocial.
2. Never Provide Personal Information via Text Message
Secondly, do not provide any personal information via text message. Any information that's supplied to text scammers can be used against you. Additionally, never question the sender's identity via text message.
"Criminals sending mass text messages learn from such responses that they have reached a real phone and are likely to send you phishing emails, spam, and other undesired communications," says Steinberg.
3. Block Individual Numbers
If you think you've received a text message from a scammer, block the number. This will prevent you from accidentally interacting or engaging with the scammer. Moreover, blocking the scammer's number will prevent him or her from sending additional messages.
4. Report Text Scams to Your Carrier
After blocking the scammer's number, report the text scam to your carrier.
If you're an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or Bell subscriber, you can report spam texts to your carrier by copying the original message and forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM). Always review your bill for unauthorized charges to your account after receiving spam text messages and dispute any charges with your carrier.
5. Review Federal Trade Commission Initiatives
Finally, review Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiatives regarding text message spam. If you received an unwanted text message from an unknown number, you can easily file a complaint with the FTC. Additionally, if you suspect that your identity has been stolen as a result of interacting with a text scammer, the FTC offers a one-stop resource for identity theft victims.
Protect Yourself From Text Scams
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Are you ready to start using text messaging for good? To get started, we recommend trying out our text-to-landline service. It's the quickest and easiest way to start texting your prospects and customers today!
Photo: Getty Images/Rawpixel