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October 19th, 2020 | | Rachel Carpenter
Have you been receiving strange text messages lately? And I’m not talking about weird messages from your crazy uncle. I’m talking about text messages saying things like “You have not claimed your prize yet.” or “Please verify your address to claim your package”. These texts often have a link attached to them, usually the text will have some language prompting you to click the link and “claim” or “verify” your package/prize.
Don’t click that link! It’s a fraudulent attempt at obtaining your personal information or assets.
To take a deeper look at the layout of this fraudulent link scam, take a look at this informational segment from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
Phishing scams can be hard to spot. For example, we’ve been hearing about one where people get a text message saying that there’s a package waiting for them, and asking them to click a link to learn more. Sounds innocent enough, right? Unfortunately not.
The messages are coming from scammers. In some cases, they’re targeted at college students. In that version, scammers text returning students to say there’s a package waiting for them — sometimes claiming it’s been waiting since last spring, when many students had to go home from campus quickly.
Whatever the message is, this rule stays the same: If you get an unexpected text message about a package, don’t click on any links. If you think the message could be legit, contact the company using a website or phone number you know is real. But don’t use the information in the text message.
Why do you want to avoid clicking the link? Once you click, they can trick you into giving personal information — letting scammers steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. Clicking these links could also let scammers download malware onto your device.
Scary stuff, right!? If you want to learn more about these phishing scams and how they work, you should take a look at this article.
Have you received a phishing text? If so, forward it to SPAM (7726), and then report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If you feel your personal information or financial assets might have been compromised, please call your financial institution and inform them of your situation.