Dangerous texts targeting your phone

They appeal to our natural tendencies to tackle trouble.

Sophisticated criminal minds paired with AI are targeting your mobile phone with an onslaught of text that are now becoming a bigger concern to security experts.

Often the schemes involve adding a trigger that entices even the smartest of us to tap before we think. Example triggers are fake rewards sites, fun-looking games, prize claim sites.

The problem that is allowing these scam texts to get through are from gateway carriers that take money from the scammers in order to pass the text onward to good carriers like yours.

Once you fall for one scam, the unique id that pegs a victim out of hundreds of thousands of attempts now flags you for more future scams.


Text scams look like these popular fakes

  • “It’s Verizon and we billed you incorrectly. Click here to sign in to verify your account.”
  • “FedEx cannot deliver package after a maximum number of attempts. Click to correct your delivery address or it will be returned to the shipper.”
  • “Hi there, It’s Jennifer from Walmart, you have an item addressed to you that needs to be collected today.”
  • “IRS.gov official notice: You have been granted a relief benefit in the amount of $548.29. Click here to collect and verify your banking details.”
  • “Your UPS package appears to be lost. Unless we get a response from you today via this text link we will not be able to deliver and the item will be returned to the warehouse.”

Nomorobo, an anti-spam app, reported 666,704 text messages in a week from numbers not found in recipient address books.

About 10% of those blocked text messages turned out to be malicious with a goal to scam the receiver.

The biggest impersonations appear to come from familiar names like Amazon, Netflix, the US Postal Service and Costco.

Answering any routine questions could end up signing you up for recurring monthly fees that go unrecognized for months.


How to stop a scam text message

1) Always think before you tap a text link.  Be sure to always have an antivirus running in the background of your device.  The last thing you want to do is accidentally click a link in a text message and it installs malware on your device.  Antivirus software will block your from clicking that link.  My picks: Best Antivirus Protection

2) Ask yourself if you requested the text

3) Block spam text messages on your iPhone and Android by adjusting these settings.

4) Report scams to the FCC by forwarding suspicious texts to 7726

5) Never type STOP as suggested as a solution.  It does not deter scammers from sending more tricks your way. In fact, they could increase the number of scams targeting you instead.

5) Use an app to block these text scams

The best solution might be using a third-party anti-spam text filtering app until better overall enforcement solutions come about.

The anti-spam app is truly the online effective means to chop off the chances of this malicious and annoying harassment of text trouble.

Nomorobo is my favorite and recognized as the winner of the FTC Robocall Challenge. The free version protects land-lines and mobile protection is $2 per month for each iPhone or Android phone. There’s a 14-day free trial to see if you think it works as well as I have found. You can find Nomorobo in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

More app recommendations to try out here and here:


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