If you're receiving random messages from "AT&T" asking for a free perk or "FedEx" with warnings for an incomplete delivery, you may be tempted to click the link for more information. Don't do it. These messages may seem real, especially if you have a connection with the provider who appears to be messaging you.
But, before you jump into your "reward," there are a few red flags to watch out for. Paying attention to these warning signs may help protect your personal data and lower your risk of fraud from scam texts. Scammers are using trusted firm names, links, and urgency to steal your information after you click on a link in tv. Even though wireless providers have stated intentions to prevent robocalls, the messages are expected to continue. But that doesn't include the workaround for spammers to send emails. In fact, Robokiller's August report predicts 86 billion spam messages will be sent this year.
It's frightening to think about accidentally clicking on a link or responding "STOP" (which you should be careful about doing). One wrong move might be all criminals need to steal your data. But don't be alarmed. We'll explain what you can do to help protect your personal data. Here's the latest on the Federal Communications Commission' robocall bans and how to use Apple''S Hide My Email feature to keep your email clean. This article was updated on May 6, 2014.
First, don't open the link.
Scammers are notorious for their hilarity. They'll send messages that appear to be from a legitimate firm, such as your wireless carrier, bank, or medical facility, and they're likely to include, which requires you to verify your account information. The link then takes you to a site that may look real, but is actually fake. The purpose of this document is to gather your name, password, and other personal information for future use.
If you get an unexpected message that includes a link, do not open it. If you do open it, please do not enter any account information or sensitive information.
As discussed in How To Geek, look at this fake Verizon website that was being used in phishing attempts. After the nefarious actors have taken your account details, the site looks real and even redirects you to Verizon's official website. Scary stuff.
Do your research before responding with STOP.
One method of opting out of receiving non-nefarious spam messages (like that restaurant that offers the free milkshake) is to reply with "STOP." It's a quick and easy way to delete messages from everything from partisanship to your internet service provider.
But scammers use this technique to get you to answer to their messages, letting them know that your phone number is valid and that you may target with more messages or robocalls.
Instead of quickly responding STOP to an unsolicited message, take a few seconds to search for the number online to see if reputable organizations or businesses use it for text messages.
After receiving a message requesting updates on an outage in my area, I verified Comcast's number, for example, by searching for "text from 266278." Indeed, the number I received the message from matched a number that Comcast lists on its support page.
If you believe a number is valid, reply with STOP to remove yourself from their distribution list.
Report a bad message to your carrier.
If you can't tell who sent a message or it's alleged to be swindling, you may forward it to 7726 (which on cellular phones spells "spam").
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon all accept spam reports through this number. You may be prompted to provide additional information or to confirm the telephone number from which the original message came from in a follow-up message after reporting.
Several carriers, such as Sprint, will even block the number from communicating with you after you've reported it.
Use your phone's built-in blocking feature to disable apps.
Another option is to block the number for yourself. Both iOS and Android have built-in tools to block messages and calls from specific numbers.
Tap on the profile picture at the top of the message in the Messages app, then tap on "Sign Up" on an iPhone. Tap the Profile photo at top, and tap "Start" in a message editor. Info Info info InfoInfo Info Click the button to open the menu. Tap on the "Next" icon to go to the next screen. Number of phone numbers of mobile phones are not listed. , followed by a. Block this Caller. At the bottom of the next screen, click on "Next".
Following those steps will prevent the number from communicating or calling you.
By turning on the toggle on iOS, users may also filter out unknown senders to automatically sort through unknown numbers. Filter Unknown Senders and Unblock Unbekannt Sender Filters Filtern In your settings for your device, you can change the defaults for that item. Messages : Greetings .
As is typical with Android phones, the procedure to block a number will depend on who makes your phone and which message app you're using.
If you're using Google's Messages app, start by opening the spam message, then tapping on the menu button in the top-right corner and selecting "News." Details From the list of options, choose "Put" from the dropdown menu. On the next screen, select "Click on the icon" and then "Select a folder". Spam Block & report Following by the following: OK OK. . The Messages app will then send the number and the 10 previous messages to Google for analysis to improve future spam detection. Your responses to the number are not shared with Google. If you'd rather not block the number, uncheck the box next to "Report spam" before tapping it. OK, OK. .
To begin the conversation, tap on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, and select Start Conversation. Block number is assigned to Block. Block size is given by Block name. > Block Block .
Download an app to block spam messages.
There are a few programs that limit spam text messages. TextKiller is an app that uses Robokiller to automatically filter out spam messages using Smart Blocking. The app now works with Apple Watches to help filter spam messages. You can also choose phone numbers and keywords that you want to block.
File an FCC complaint to help stop spam messages sent by email.
If you're in the US and want to help combat current and future spam messages, you may file a complaint with the FCC if you receive lagging messages that fall into one of the following categories:
- Unsolicited commercial text message
- Without your prior consent, an automated message may be sent to your phone.
- Automated mail from a telecommunications firm, or another company advertising telco's products or services, sent without your prior consent, may contain information about alleged fraudulent activity.
Visit this site to file a complaint with the FCC. It won't immediately stop messages from arriving on your phone, but it will at least assist the FCC in tracking down bad actors.
Just as you don't have to deal with spam messages, you also dont need to contend with robocalls. You won't be able to put an end to them for ever, but you can at least reduce the number of times your phone rings. And remember, there are plenty of red flags when it comes to coronavirus scams, so be sure to know them all. While you're at it, take a few minutes to safeguard your wireless account to prevent SIM swapping fraud.
This article first published last year. Updated with new information.