Technology can be such an excellent tool, but not all the time. In recent years, advances have paved new ways for criminals to steal information and steal money from unknowing consumers. One of the most common methods is through spam. We’ve outlined 8 easy ways for you to identify SPAM text messages.
One form of text message spam is also known as phishing, which tricks consumers into providing their personal information by posing as a family member, familiar organization, or business. And if you think you’re too smart to fall for phishing text scams, then think again. According to the FBI, consumers lost as much as $57 million in 2019 due to phishing schemes.
Here, we’ve compiled 8 of the most common spam messages while providing tips to fight back against phishing.
1. Message From the IRS
Remember that the IRS or any government agency won’t contact people through phone, text message, or email. If the government needs to contact you, they will usually contact you via a certified letter or by mail.
2. You Won!
While winning a prize unexpectedly may sound dandy in theory, it just doesn’t happen in real life. So if you’re ever notified of winning a contest, just keep in mind: it’s a scam! If you’re unsure if the offer in front of you is authentic, immediately contact the business to check.
3. Confirm Your Bank Account
Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase are just some of the banks used in scams to trick consumers into providing their details, which results in millions of dollars being stolen. If you receive a notification that asks you to verify details from your bank, beware because it’s most likely fake. Keep in mind that a bank will only ask for your identity if you perform a transaction with them, such as opening an account.
4. Incoming Refund
Text messages that involve money coming back to you sure sounds enticing, right? Wrong. If you ever get notifications that read, “We have just been informed that you have overpaid for (a service or product). Please provide us with your account and bank routing number to get your refund,” don’t trust any of it.
5. Apple iCloud ID Verification
Text messages that you get from Apple or other tech companies asking for your login details are suspicious. If you have any suspicions about these messages, change your password immediately and contact the company directly.
6. You Have a Package for Delivery
While FedEx and Amazon deliveries are standard now, any text message you receive for an order or package can be so easy to overlook. Shippers may send a legitimate update regarding your shipping updates, but they will never ask for money or personal details to complete their delivery.
7. Your Family Needs Help
One of the most disturbing and commonly used spam messages works to make us believe that a family member is in trouble and needs immediate financial assistance. It essentially convinces you to wire money to help with a so-called medical or financial emergency, or even that a loved one has been kidnapped. When this happens, immediately contact the family member before giving any money. If it is a genuine emergency, be sure to get the appropriate authorities before sending any financial aid.
“Free” bitcoin doesn’t exist. Treat any offer like this just as you would with free money — with much scrutiny. Scammers will often make use of bitcoin as their currency in blackmail scams.
How to Identify Spam Messages
While most spam messages are easy to spot, hackers have refined their phishing techniques over the years and have come up with compelling ways to get a hold of personal details. To protect yourself from scams, be on the lookout for these kinds of spam messages:
- Is it an urgent message? If the sender tells you that there’s something wrong with your payment method or account details and that they need immediate action, don’t fall into the trap of acting without thinking.
- Is the message suspicious? If the sender is familiar (like Apple or Amazon — some of the most used names in phishing scams), but the actual message itself is full of typos, or is it poorly written, beware. This may be an indication that someone is trying to scam you.
- Does the message promise something too good to be true? Gift cards, discounts, and prizes won’t ask for any personal information from you.
- Is the message impersonal? If the text starts with a generic “Hello” rather than addressing you by name, then be wary — it may be spam.
Avoid Sending Unintentional Spam
There are many types of spam text messages out there today, and it’s possible that your messages may be misinterpreted as spam if your text campaigns are not properly orchestrated.
Being mistaken for spam or being associated with fishy marketing practices can erode customer confidence in your business. Avoid these mistakes with Txtra. We can help you run professional and user-friendly text message marketing campaigns that are sure to convert leads and boost your business. Try us for free today!