Scammers are trying harder than ever to take advantage of unwitting victims via text message scams.
According to “The RoboKiller Report: 2022 Mid-Year Phone Scam Insights,” more than 147 billion robotexts were projected to take place in 2022, a 68% increase from nearly 88 billion scam texts that took place in 2021.
The increase is fueled by the Federal Communications Commission’s recent efforts to combat spoofed robocalls, which caused scammers to seek a new avenue to defraud victims: texting.
According to the report, California, Florida, Georgia, New York and Texas are the five states that received the largest number of robotexts in the first half of this year. The report states that scammers target states with densely populated cities in order to reach as many people as possible.
However, even if you don’t live in one of those states, it’s important to stay vigilant and never click on a link (or otherwise engage) when you are unsure whether a text you receive is legitimate. Instead, directly contact the company, service or person the text is allegedly from to verify its legitimacy.
Amazon Text Message Scam
As part of this scam, you’ll receive a text message stating it’s from Amazon. It also will state that there is a problem with your Amazon account and prompt you to verify your personal information by clicking the provided link. Of course, the link is not from Amazon and any personal information you provide will be delivered to a scammer.
Netflix Text Message Scam
One of the most recent Netflix scams involves texts claiming to be from the popular streaming service to notify you that your payment for your Netflix subscription has failed. The message states that your account is restricted or will be closed due to nonpayment. If you happen to fall for it and click on the provided link, you’ll be taken to a fake page where you’ll be prompted to enter your login information or your credit card details for scammers to take advantage of.
PayPal Text Message Scam
During a PayPal scam, scammers send text messages claiming to be from PayPal to alert you that there is an issue with your account. You will be prompted to either call a phone number or click a link to resolve the issue. Either action will expose you and your personal information to the scammers.
Two-Factor Authentication Text Message Scam
Two-factor authentication is a way to keep scammers from hackers from accessing your account even when they have your username and password. So the object of this scam is to get you to give up your authentication code.
You’ll receive a text appearing to be from a company or service you do business with that states it has detected suspicious login activity on your account, which will be locked unless you can prove you are the owner. The text will state that once you receive your two-factor authentication code to recover your account, you should text it as a reply. Once you do, the scammer will have access to your account.
It’s important to note that you will never be asked for your two-factor authentication code by a security team through a text or otherwise.
UPS Text Message Scam
During this scam, you’ll receive a text notifying you about a UPS delivery, complete with fake tracking numbers, that was missed and needs to be rescheduled. The text will prompt you to click a link to set a new delivery date. If you click a link, several things could happen, including your phone being infected with malware or being routed to a phishing site, which will ask you for personal information, including your name, address, credit card information and Social Security number.
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