Have you recently gotten a text from someone you don’t know, telling you that you have a package or won a prize? All you have to do is click the link in the text to claim it.
If so, you are the victim of a new type of fraud known as “SmiShing”, which is trying to steal information through text messages.
“If you get a text from someone you don’t know, saying to click on a link, it’s a red flag. We recommend consumers go directly to a company’s secure website and not click or use the link included in the text message,” said AT&T Media Relations Representative Mark Giga.
The following information was provided by AT&T regarding “What to do about Robotexts;”
“The unwanted texts come in different forms. Some are spam messages that advertise products and services. Some say there’s a “problem with your account.” They ask you to confirm your payment source or account status by calling and entering information. Others lead you to fake websites. These messages can be more than annoying. They may put you, your personal information or your device at risk.
The text can open the door for bad guys to install malware on your phone or trick you into giving them personal information. If you want to know if the message is legitimate, call the entity supposedly sending it using a phone number found from a trusted source, such as their secure website or your bill. (Do not use a number or website provided by the possible scammer.)
So, what should you do if you receive an unwanted text message? Here are a few tips.
• Send us your spam and scam texts. Forward suspicious texts to 7726 (SPAM). Messages forwarded to this number are free for AT&T customers (and other major carriers) and will not count toward your text plan. The faster you share the message, the faster the company can place blocks in the network to stop suspicious SMS messages.
• Don’t reply to texts from someone you don’t know. Simply ignore or delete texts if you don’t know who they came from. Even if the text seems legitimate, avoid responding directly, and don’t hand out or confirm personal information. Remember, most companies, including AT&T, do NOT send text or email requests asking for personal or account information.
• Stop and think before you send “STOP.” Some legitimate companies and services allow consumers to opt-out of text messages by responding with the word “STOP.” However, some savvy text scammers use this to confirm your phone number is genuine as soon as you send “STOP.”
• Don’t click on any links in the message. Bad guys may include links to fake websites that imitate real companies. Those sites may ask for personal information or install malware on your device. Always go directly to a company’s secure website, not the link included in the text message.
• Avoid handing out your cellphone number.
Keep in mind that legitimate companies and organizations can send you text messages, as long as you’ve given them permission to do so. Political campaigns and groups can send text messages without your consent, but only if they do not use autodialing technology to send them.
Other carriers may have different security or reporting procedures. Check the website or customer service department of your wireless carrier to see how to prevent and report Robotext fraud attempts.