CROMWELL, CT — Every few months, a new scam pops up that seems to be everywhere (remember the "Can you hear me” scam
or this wrong number con
). A new version is here! In the past few weeks, BBB Scam Tracker
has received numerous reports of a text message scam that attempts to trick people with the promise of a “free gift.”
How the scam works
You receive a text message that says something like this: “Your bill is paid for March. Thanks, here’s a little gift for you.” This message is followed by a link to an unfamiliar website. The text doesn’t specify what bill you paid, what company the message is coming from, or what the total amount was. Even more disturbing, the message may be a group text sent to a dozen or more other people, none of whom are in your contacts list.
The text isn’t from a real company. The goal is to get your personal information, which puts you at risk for identity theft. In some versions of the scam, you may be directed to a website asking you to “confirm your identity,” so you can receive the gift. Scammers may also ask for your credit card information, claiming you need to pay a few dollars to ship the “free” gift.
How to avoid text message scams