Text Message Scams of 2013
Scams are not only incredibly annoying, but they can be very costly as well. There are a lot of evil people in this world and this shady business is a bi-product of some of those people. Since smart phones are used by almost everyone in the modern world, we thought it would be good to give you a few examples of new types of scams within the mobile atmosphere, more specifically, text message scams.
One of the more popular SMS scams that has been going around and may only get worse in 2013, is the good old “You won a FREE -insert item-!” This scam has been used relentlessly on the internet and it has been floating around the mobile realm for a short while now. Basically, you’ll receive a message from a random number which says something along the lines of “Your entry in last months drawing won you a FREE $1,000 Target Giftcard! Enter “909″ at target.com.crdf.biz to tell us where to ship it.” You’ll know immediately that this is fake, mainly because you haven’t entered any drawings lately. What the scammer’s are hoping for is an extremely gullible person, so all you have to do to avoid this scam is to not be that person!
Another sneaky scam is a seemingly harmless text message from another random number. This time, the sender uses a common name, such as “Jen,” and simply says “Jen told me to send you this http://bit.ly/Zmy71X” If you follow the URL, it will take you to a basic mobile site, which tells you that you’ve won an iPad3 and to click a button. (The URL used in the example is a real scam URL, visit it for a live example.) Basically, what the scammers are hoping for with this fake message is to use the name of someone you know. This, in turn, will build enough trust inside of you to follow that link. Just be smart with this one, it’s very easy to spot, so once again avoid being gullible.
The last example is somewhat more elusive than the first two. This is how it goes: you’ll receive a text from a random number which simply says “Hi ;)” It seems enticing, maybe it’s one of your old friends…or a secret admirer. So you reply with something like “Who is this?” Almost immediately you’ll get a message back requesting that you add this person on yahoo IM…and they give their username. Don’t do it. This is basically a fancy email capturing method. As soon as you add this “person” on yahoo IM (or whatever they request) they’ve got your email address. And they’ll use it to send you much more scams and spam! If you do inquire about their identity, the automated message system will reply with “sry I have no signal :(” for example, trying to sink you deeper into their trap. But again, follow your gut. If it just doesn’t seem right, then it probably isn’t.
Watch out for different variations of these types of scams as well. If you do come across one of these scams, or any others, report them here: Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission, Internet Crime Complaint Center
Good luck and be safe!