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Most people have a cell phone or access to one. You likely use it a lot to send messages to your friends and family daily. But have you ever received a text from someone you don't know? Sometimes, that text could be from someone trying to trick you into sharing your personal and money-related information. 

Sometimes, dishonest people send fake text messages to fool you into giving away your private details like passwords, account numbers, date of birth, or even your Social Security number. They could enter your email, bank accounts, and more if they get that information. They might even sell your information to other dishonest folks.

These tricksters often try to make you click on links in text messages by offering things that sound great, like:

  1. Promising free prizes, gift cards, or coupons that aren't real.

  2. They can give you a credit card with very little or no interest, but there's no genuine offer, and you won't get a card.

  3. Offering to help you pay off your student loans, even though they won't help.

 

These scammers also send phony messages claiming they know something about your account or a purchase. They might falsely:

  1. Say they've spotted something strange happening in your account, even though they haven't.

  2. Tell you there's an issue with your payment info, even though there isn't.

  3. They send you a fake bill and ask you to contact them if you still need to purchase, but it's all part of their trick.

  4. Send you a message saying a package is on the way when it's not true.
     

These messages might ask you to share personal info like how much money you make, how much you owe, or details about your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, all to claim your supposed gift or offer. Or they might tell you to click a link to learn more about the issue. But be careful; some links take you to a fake website that looks real but isn't. If you log in, the scammers might steal your username and password. Other times, these messages can put bad stuff on your phone that takes your private or money info without you knowing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to Do When You Get Unwanted Texts
 

If you get a text that you didn't expect and it asks for your private or money info, don't click on any links. Legit companies don't ask for your account info through text messages.
If the message is accurate, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is the real deal, not the info in the text.


There are different ways to stop these texts from reaching you:

  1. On Your Phone: Your phone can stop spam or texts from people you don't know. You can learn how to do this on an iPhone or Android.

  2. Through Your Wireless Provider: The company that provides your phone service may have tools to help you block unwanted calls and texts. You can find out about these options on ctia.org, a website from the wireless industry.

  3. With an App: Some apps can also block unwanted texts and calls. You can see a list of apps for different kinds of phones on ctia.org. Check out their features, users' thoughts, and what experts say before picking one.
     

How to Tell Someone About Spam Texts
 

When you get a text you don't want, you can report it in three ways:

  1. Report it using the app you use for texting. Look for the option to say the message is junk or spam.

  2. Tell the FTC about it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov to help stop scams on a bigger scale.

Stay alert and follow these steps to protect your private and money info from sneaky text messages at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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