If you get tons of scam text messages, you’re not alone. Lots of people have been reporting to the FTC that they’re getting texts from scammers impersonating people and organizations you know and trust — like your bank or companies like Amazon. An analysis of consumer reports reveals the top text scams from 2022. So, what are they? And how do you avoid them?
The latest FTC Data Spotlight explores how text scams try to get you to act NOW. Whether it’s the thrill of getting a free item or the panic about a large unauthorized charge, scammers know that these texts are hard to ignore. The most-reported text scam looks like a fraud alert from your bank, but it’s fake. It might say there’s suspicious activity on your account and tell you to call a number. Or to reply “yes or no” to confirm a big purchase (that you didn’t really make). But don’t do it. There is no real problem. They just want your money or personal information.
Another common text scam promises a “free gift”— if you click a link. But then they ask you for payment information to cover the “shipping cost.” If you give it, you’ll get unauthorized charges on your account…and no free gift.
So how do you avoid these and other text scams?
- Don’t click on links or respond to unexpected texts. If you think a text might be legit, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Don’t use the information in the text message.
- Report text scams. Forward them to 7726 (SPAM). This helps your wireless provider spot and block similar messages.
And if you spot a text scam, the FTC wants to hear about it. Tell us what happened at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.