Messenger App Texts: Phone Scam Overview
There are many different messaging apps that you can download for your phone, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Kik, Facebook Messenger, and Line. These messaging apps help you communicate with friends and family via messages, calls and videos calls.
Though these apps are great for allowing you to keep in touch with friends and family, they do have a downside. They are full of potentially harmful text message scams that can infect your phone with malware and put your identity at risk. Here is a breakdown of the different text scams and what can be done to protect yourself.
A Strange Text Is Received
The most common form of these scams are phishing messages that try to steal valuable personal and account information from their victims. The text will include a warning that your account may be compromised, with instructions to click a link in order to recover your account. By clicking the link you could be infecting your phone with malware, which will steal sensitive information that you have on your phone.
There are also chain messages that work similarly to the old chain emails in the 90s and 2000s. You will receive a message on your phone from a friend who has forwarded a warning, video, or some other shareable information and ask you to send it on to others.
Avoiding This Scam
If you receive a suspicious text claiming your account is compromised, a special offer that seems too-good-to-be-true, or a message that seems to be forwarded and contains hyperlinks the best thing you can do is ignore it. Don't click on any untrusted links and don't forward the message on to other contacts.
If you receive a message that your account is hacked or needs to be verified contact the company directly yourself, do not reply back to the message with any sensitive information.
How to Stop the Scammers
The best way to stop scammers is by blocking texts from them on your phone and reporting them to the FTC. You can also help others stay safe from phishing scams and other forms of fraud by reporting phone numbers in our community phone book and leaving your feedback. Many CallerSmart users have already left their feedback on phone numbers being used in text scams:
405-562-9834: Texted stating it was the Publishers Clearing House located in Washington DC. Stated that I had won a 3rd place prize of 1.7 million dollars along side ($5000) cash for life. Also said that I won a 2016 BMW of whatever color I chose. Text had many grammatical errors and was not professionally made.
760-625-7554: Spammed by txt with bogus YouTube links, was probably a virus, so I just deleted the txt messages.
410-297-7806: This is the second time I have gotten a text from a "Leighann" first time it was from (254)242-0691 and now this number. Same tired line "Find out how I make $$$ a month" I think the amounts vary but thousands! Wow! Bottom line they are a THIEF AND A SCAMMER! Blocking number now.
By leaving your feedback on numbers that spam you, you'll help others in your community. You can also run free reverse phone lookups on any U.S. phone number in our phone tracing app or in our online phone book to see others' feedback and check for signs of suspicious behavior.