TULSA, Oklahoma. – Fraudulent SMS masquerading as your service provider are becoming common practice for thieves.
Karen Molt said she received a series of text messages that appear to be from her mobile phone provider, AT&T.
The context of the text demands payments, something Molt said she has already done.
“I don’t want to be abused either,” she said.
The message in question also states “We will lock your device soon. Please clear spam. “
“I guess once you scan that, you scan your phone for a virus,” Molt said.
Bryce Marshall of the Tulsa Better Business Bureau said Molt was right to trust his instincts.
“We see them all the time,” Marshall said. “Personally, I get them all the time.”
Scam texts are touring not only Green Country, but across the country.
“The crooks get your numbers from the various websites you signed up to,” Marshalls said.
He said the information is being sold to third parties, making it easy for crooks to reach you. Messages can also be enticing. Some even promise compensation.
“There are so many people that if they see a number or an entity that they know, they click on it,” Molt said.
The consequences of clicking on a link sent to your phone vary. Marshall said they can sometimes be underage. Users will be sent to a fake website where they will be prompted to enter personal information. Sometimes it will ask for a friend’s information as well.
Marshall said it was a red flag. Do not enter your personal information or someone else’s information on an unknown website. If you do, the scam could escalate.
“Unfortunately, some of the worst is when you go to a bogus website that you put financial information on and that’s when they enter one of your credit card numbers, your banking institution, your routing number and your account number, ”Marshal said.
This could leave the victims in financial ruin. Before going to click on a link sent to your phone, the BBB advises you to think first.
“First you want to make sure you have a subscription, say with Amazon or Hulu, or something like that,” Marshall said. “If you don’t have a subscription with them, of course, don’t click on them.”
Consumers can also call the company the text appears to be from and ask if they are texting warnings or promotional content. Often the company will be able to tell you if it is a scam.
To stay up to date on scams in your area, you can track the most recent activity by visiting the BBB Scam Tracker.
Watch the full story on 2 Oklahoma News Wednesday at 6 a.m.
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