If You Get These Texts, Delete Them Immediately

If You Get These Texts, Delete Them Immediately

An urgent message from your bank

urgent messageCourtesy Nicole Fornabaio/rd.com

Cyber hackers often disguise themselves as trusted institutions like your bank or utility company to sway you into giving up your password, PIN, or other personal credentials. The message may read something like: Dear customer, Bank of America is closing your bank account. Please confirm your PIN at [URL] to keep your account activated. Messages of this nature also contain urgent language such as "If you don't reply within 24 hours, your account will be closed." Cobb says it's best to go directly to the company that is purporting to send you this scary message. It may require a call to your bank, but at least you'll have confirmation from the source that your personal credentials are safe. You have to be careful online shopping as well. 

You've won a major award

won a prizeCourtesy Nicole Fornabaio/rd.com

Everyone loves to win prizes—unless it's a smish prize, which is more of a win for the hackers and a loss for you. Often times, this type of text will be written as: You've won a prize! Go to [URL] to claim your $500 Amazon gift card. If you don't remember entering a contest for anything, do not click on the link, or you may inadvertently be going to a link that downloads malicious code like malware onto your phone, which can damage or disable your phone. Stay a step ahead with these tricks hackers don't want you to know.

The phone number proximity scam

Young casual man using smart phone sitting outdoorOlga Danylenko/Shutterstock

This was an old phone call scam from years ago that tends to make the occasional comeback. Now, scammers have started using texts, too. These texts or phone calls typically come from three-digit area codes that appear to be from the United States, but they're actually associated with international phone numbers, often in the Caribbean. "Just because it's coming from your three-digit area code, that doesn't mean it's somebody you know," says Cobb. "There's actually a number faking service that allows you to do that." The text often indicates that someone is in danger and needs help, and the criminal will ask you to call or text back. Plus, scammers will do anything to keep you on the line for as long as possible, like using an automated voice messaging service. Since dialing internationally can send your phone bill skyrocketing, that means lots of money in the smishers' pockets. According to the Federal Trade Commission, people should be aware of messages or calls coming from these area codes: 268, 284, 473, 664, 649, 767, 809, 829, 849, and 876. For numbers you don't know, don't pick up or text back. If they really do know you, they'll reach out again. Here are 10 more phone call scams that could totally steal your money.

If You Get These Texts, Delete Them Immediately, Source:https://www.rd.com/culture/texts-delete-immediately/